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20 Calcium-Rich Natural Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

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  shutterstock_285165995 Out of all the essential minerals required by our bodies to maintain a healthy constitution, calcium tops the list. Remember how our mothers used to force us to have that one glass of milk every morning before school? Well, it was for more reasons than one. Calcium is the primary ingredient for strong bones and teeth. But, that is not the only thing it does. Calcium is also instrumental in the clotting of blood, supporting normal functioning of the brain, maintaining a stable blood pressure, and in effective transmission of nerve signals through the body. A diet deficient in calcium can cause weak bones and teeth, brittle nails, muscle spasms and cramps, numbness, and even weak memory. So if you have any of these symptoms, chances are that you are not consuming enough calcium. Ideally, an adult man needs to consume at least 1000 mg of calcium, and an adult woman needs to consume  at least 1200 mg of calcium daily . So how do you meet your daily dose of calcium? While a multi-vitamin supplement is definitely a great option, following are twenty natural foods that will help you fill your daily quota. shutterstock_526518475 1. Broccoli A green vegetable of the cabbage family, broccoli is rich in calcium. A hundred grams of broccoli contain 120 mg of calcium. Additionally, it contains folic acid, chromium, choline, vitamin C, vitamin K and several other vital nutrients. Oh, and it’s low in calories, too! 2. Soyabeans Along with protein, these tiny beige coloured beans are also abundant in calcium. Soyabeans, called soybeans in some parts of the world, can be consumed as lentils, as soya flour in breads, as soya milk, and as tofu. Amongst these, soya milk and tofu have the biggest concentration of calcium in 100 gms. 3. Lady Finger Though often neglected, the lady finger or Okra, is rich in various nutrients and has multiple health benefits. It improves immunity, promotes weight loss, prevents diabetes, and of course, is high in calcium. Many people do not like lady finger because of its slimy texture, but there are ways to reduce that. Leaving cut pieces of the vegetable in vinegar and lemon juice helps, as does blanching. 4. Berries Berries are nature’s powerhouse of nutrients. Apart from containing a good percentage of calcium, they also have antioxidants and improve memory. A handful of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are a great way to start your day. There are berries native to India, like gooseberies, which are just as good.    5. Celery This crunchy green leaf is high in calcium as well as other vital minerals like molybdenum. It protects the digestive system from inflammation and helps in quick rejuvenation of cells. You could incorporate celery in your salads, herb rice, noodles, or lightly saute it with other vegetables. shutterstock_526027468 6. Dairy products Milk is the most well-known source of calcium. A glass of milk for those who aren’t lactose intolerant is a great way to incorporate calcium in daily diet. Milk products such as yoghurt, cheese, and cottage cheese are also very rich in calcium. However, it is advisable that you have your glass of milk sans the white sugar as it hinders absorption of calcium. 7. Prunes Prunes or dried plums have multiple health benefits. They aid in digestion, help with iron absorption, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and the calcium in it helps improve bone health. So, next time you’re in the mood for a little snack, ditch the French fries and go for some prunes instead. 8. Almonds Almonds are a great source of healthy fat. They maintain heart health and aid in weight management. A hundred grams of almonds contain almost 250 mg of calcium. In fact a mixture of berries and almonds would make for a wonderful between the meal snack. If that’s not how you like your almonds, soaking them over night in water and having it the next morning is also a good option. A fistful of almonds and walnuts works wonders for children as they rush off to school. 9. Kiwi Who knew these brown, oval-shaped, furry fruits could do so much for us? Apart from being rich in calcium and antioxidants, kiwis are extremely refreshing. If you find them too sour for your taste, try leaving the skin on when you have them. 10. Apricots Apricots are often considered to be superfoods because of their high nutritional value. They help maintain eye health, they are rich in antioxidants, are a rich source of fiber and contain potassium. A hundred grams of apricots contains 13 mg of calcium. However, the candied variety is not advisable, and many experts advise against consumption of apricots during pregnancy.

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shutterstock_525100786 11. Raisins Like apricots, raisins, too, support multiple health benefits. Due to the presence of a substance called resveratrol, raisins fight cancer, have antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory qualities. Though a little high in calories, a handful of raisins could help fill part of your daily calcium quota. 12. Salmon Salmon is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world. This part freshwater- part saltwater fish, predominantly found off the Atlantic coast, is a rich source of protein, essential fats, minerals like calcium, selenium, phosphorus and iodine, and contains vitamins B and D. You can get creative with the preparation too – grill it, bake it, smoke it, salmons will taste great! By the way, did you know that a variety of salmon grows in Indian waters and is now popularly called the Indian salmon? Try it out. 13. Sardine This saltwater fish maybe small in size, but is a great source of most minerals needed by your body. Sardines contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc as well as iron. The best way to ensure the nutrients in sardines remain intact is by consuming it grilled. The good news is that sardines are available in plenty and are not too costly. 14. Kale Another vegetable of the cabbage family, kale is actually the secret behind strength in primates. Kale is a kind of wild cabbage and is referred to as karam ki saag or karam ki bhaji in parts of India. Extremely rich in iron and calcium, and by virtue of being low in calories, kales are a wonderful addition to your diet, especially when you’re trying to get healthy. 15. Sesame Seeds Those little seeds sitting on your burger bread might just be the best thing about it. Sesame seeds are proteinaceous and rich in several vitamins and minerals including calcium. They reduce blood pressure, promote heart health, aid in digestion and also contribute to healthy bones and nails. You can have sesame seeds as desserts too. Mix these with a bit of honey or jaggery, roll it into balls and you have a calcium-rich sweet-tooth satisfier. shutterstock_526607158 16. Coconut We have always heard of the multiple health benefits of coconut oil. But, did you know hundred grams of coconut contains at least 14 mg of calcium? Coconut fights cancer, promotes weight loss, and gives great skin when consumed in controlled quantities. 17. Oranges Apart from being a great source of vitamin C, oranges are rich in calcium. By virtue of being from the citrus family, oranges support weight loss as well. They prevent cancer, curb kidney diseases and prevent viral infections, cold and cough. Juice it up or have it whole, oranges are a must have in your diet when in season. But, having it as a whole fruit is more advisable because of the dietary fiber. 18. Chia seeds Chia seeds, or seeds of the sweet basil or tulsi, are one of the healthiest foods you can possibly consume. These whole grains are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and proteins among other things apart from calcium. Moreover, these are almost always organic. You can take chia seeds as whole, as part of a meal or you can even grind it and mix it with your smoothie. Pluck them off the tulsi tree at home whenever you need to use them.   19. Winged beans Winged beans too are a great source of calcium. You’ll be consuming 84 mg of your daily calcium dose if you have just hundred grams of these beans, which are also called Goa beans. Besides, you can get really creative with preparing them You can include them in your oriental dishes, put it in salads, have it stir-fried, or roast the seeds and add to your food for some crunchy goodness. 20. Figs As it appears, dry fruits in general contain a good percentage of calcium. Fig is another excellent source for it.  Put a handful of these in your fruit bowl every morning and you have yourself a wonderfully nutritious breakfast. A salad of crunchy lettuce leaves with pieces of fresh figs and feta cheese with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing is a must try. So, you have an entire checklist of calcium rich natural foods which are easily available in the market. Even if you do not want to consume dairy products, you can take your pick from any of the other nineteen sources mentioned above. Just ensure that you have 1000-1200 mg of calcium every single day. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with diet specialists.

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