Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. It is also an essential mineral that plays a key role in maintaining health.
Calcium is needed for the formation of new bone well as well as for maintaining the strength of teeth. It also plays a role in improving heart health, nerve signaling, and muscle function.
The recommended allowance for calcium in adults is 1,000 mg per day. However, some groups, including adolescents, older adults, and postmenopausal women, may require a higher amount.
It is important to ensure your diet comprises an adequate amount of this mineral in order to avoid the symptoms of deficiency. Here are 10 foods that are rich in calcium.
Milk and other dairy products are the most important sources of calcium.
Most cheeses offer excellent sources of calcium. For example; Parmesan cheese has a higher calcium content of 242 mg that equals to nearly 19% of the daily allowance for this nutrient per ounce.
Softer cheeses usually have a lesser amount of calcium. For instance, 28 grams or 1 ounce of Brie delivers 52 mg of calcium.
Yogurt is another excellent source of calcium. Most types of yogurt also provide probiotics containing beneficial bacteria, which can promote healthy immune functions, enhance heart health, and support the absorption of nutrients.
It is estimated that one cup or 245 gm of yogurt contains nearly 23% of the daily allowance for calcium, together with other nutrients, such as potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins Bs.
Seafood's such as canned salmon and sardines are loaded with essential nutrients like calcium. The calcium content in seafood can be attributed to the edible bones of these fishes.
It is estimated that about a 3.75-ounce or a 92-gram can of sardines provides 27% of the daily allowance, while 3 ounces or 85 gm of canned salmon can provide 19% of the daily allowance for calcium.
These oily fish also offers omega-3 fatty acids and protein that support the health of the heart, skin, and brain.
In addition, both salmon and sardines have a high level of selenium, another important mineral that can help to prevent and reduce mercury toxicity.
Seeds are considered the powerhouses of nutrients including calcium. Seeds such as poppy, sesame, celery, and chia seeds offer a rich source of this mineral.
For instance, it is estimated that about 9 gm or one tablespoon of poppy seeds provides 127 mg of calcium, which is nearly 10% of the recommended allowance for this nutrient.
Seeds also deliver other nutrients including protein and healthy fats. For instance, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that play a role in maintaining normal cholesterol levels.
These foods offer a great plant-based source of calcium together with other nutrients like dietary fibers, proteins, and micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, and potassium.
Some varieties of beans and legumes also have a high amount of calcium. For example, cooked winged beans are estimated to supply nearly 244 mg or 19% of the daily allowance in a single serving of 172 gm or one cup.
Patients having a deficiency of calcium can consider including winged beans or white beans in their regular diet. Cooked white beans contain a rich amount of calcium with 1 cup or 179 gm providing nearly 12% of the daily allowance.
Interestingly, beans and lentils are credited with several other health benefits that are commonly associated with plant-based diets. Beans and lentils can help to lower the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals can attend our AARC Approved CEUs to learn more about the healthy sources of calcium they can recommend to their patients to help them avoid the deficiency of this nutrient.
Almonds have the highest amount of calcium among all nuts. It is estimated that 1 ounce or 28 gm of almonds can deliver 6% of the daily allowance for this nutrient.
Almonds also provide a great source of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Additionally, they are an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, and vitamin E.
Amaranth is a highly nutritious source of calcium, folate, and other minerals, including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron.
It has been found that about one cup or 246 gm of cooked amaranth grains delivers nearly 116 mg of calcium, amounting to 9% of its daily allowance.
Tofu prepared with calcium offers an exceptionally high amount of calcium. It is estimated that half a cup or 126 gm of tofu contains nearly 66% of the daily allowance for calcium making it one of the best sources of this nutrient.
Whey is a form of protein present in milk. It is an excellent source of calcium and protein that can improve bone strength, promote muscle growth, and support faster post-workout recovery.
It is estimated that a 1.2-ounce or 33-gram serving of whey protein powder contains nearly 160 mg or 12% of the daily allowance for calcium.
A whey-rich diet has also been linked to faster weight loss and improved diabetes management.
Leafy greens such as collard greens, spinach, and kale are incredibly healthy and high in several nutrients including calcium.
For instance, one cup or 190 gm of cooked collard greens provides nearly 260 mg of calcium, which amounts to about 21% of the daily allowance for this nutrient.
Our Respiratory Therapy Continuing Education CEUs are aimed at providing comprehensive guidelines about the most effective ways to prevent and treat calcium deficiency.
Rhubarb is rich in calcium, fibers, and vitamin K. It contains prebiotic fibers that can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. It has been found that one cup of raw rhubarb provides 105 mg of calcium, which amounts to nearly 8% of the daily allowance.
Including these foods in a regular diet is an effective way to ensure the body receives an adequate supply of calcium. Our Respiratory Therapy Webinars are aimed at sharing information about the best sources of calcium and other nutrients that are essential for maintaining optimum health.