20 Calcium Rich Natural Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

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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.

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!

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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.

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.

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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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