Want to have healthy teeth and strong bones? Here is some information about the best sources of calcium. Explore this article and learn more about non-dairy calcium food sources as well.
Best Sources Of Calcium
Calcium plays a vital role in ensuring strong bones and teeth. It is essential for growth in children and helps to ensure efficient muscle contraction and regulates blood clotting. It is also useful for lower blood pressure. Our bodies use calcium to aid with the functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves. Human bodies cannot produce calcium on its own so it is necessary to get maximum amount of calcium from the foods we take. When we eat calcium-rich foods, the calcium enters our bloodstream and is carried to the organs to perform the work that is needed. The extra calcium we eat is stored in our bones and when there is deficiency, the body will take the necessary calcium from the bones. Nearly 99% of the calcium, which we receive from foods and supplements are stored in the bones and teeth whereas, the body uses the remaining 1% for muscular contraction, sending nerve signals to the brain, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion. Excessive consumption of calcium can also have negative repercussions including heart disease, lesser absorption of minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium etc. This mainly occurs when the intake of calcium dietary supplements are not accordance with the levels prescribed.
Sources of Calcium
||Calcium (In mg)
|Yogurt, plain, low fat
|Spinach, frozen, Boiled
|Cheese food, pasteurized American
|Cottage cheese,1% milk fat
|Baked beans, canned
|Trail mix (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips)
||1 oz (24 nuts)
|Black eye peas, boiled
|Green peas, boiled
Milk and dairy products are among the major sources of calcium. Milk is one of the best providers of calcium in the diet chart. 200 ml of milk provides 55 per cent of the calcium for a six-year-old child. Cheese and yoghurt are also good sources of calcium and according to ‘The Dairy Council’, three dairy products a day are recommended to meet the daily requirement for teenagers and adults. People in the age group of 19-50 are recommended to consume about 1,000 mg of calcium per day, while people in their 50s should approximately consume about 1200 mg per day.
Non-Dairy Sources Of Calcium
Other than milk & dairy products there are several other types of non-dairy sources of calcium that you can opt as to ensure your daily calcium intake. Below listed are some of the non-dairy sources of calcium.
- The soft bones of fish, as with sardines, pilchards and tinned salmon, provide valuable calcium.
- Green leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce, broccoli, fennel, asparagus, Brussels sprouts etc. are rich sources of calcium.
- Garnishing your food with herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, peppermint leaves, and parsley and rosemary also provides the body with essential calcium.
- Several beans like kidney beans, black-eyed peas, white beans and black beans are other sources that are rich in calcium.
- Other useful sources include Soya bean products, such as tofu, as well as sesame seeds, nuts, white bread, dried fruit, pulses and green leafy vegetables. Okra and kale are rich vegetable sources of calcium.
- Soya milk alternatives, bottled water, breakfast cereals and orange juice are also fortified with extra calcium.
Pros & Cons Of Taking Dairy Products
- Most of the dairy products are rich in saturated fats, which can lead to higher risks of cardiovascular diseases. It is highly recommended to choose low-fat versions of milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products for daily consumption.
- Check if you are lactose intolerant. Lactose is basically a sugar found in milk and milk product. If you are intolerant to lactose, it will not result in its breakdown in the body causing serious health issues. Some of the symptoms are bloating, gas and diarrhea.
- Higher levels of estrogen will be predominantly found if the cow, from which the milk is obtained is pregnant. Skimmed milk is often recommended in such cases, as the hormones have been mainly found whole, fat milk.
Some of the best sources of calcium can be derived from both dairy as well as non-dairy products. Low-fat versions of the dairy products are recommended to avoid the risk of contracting diseases or suffering from health problems. There are plenty of non-dairy sources available that will help your body derive the right amount of calcium. Excessive calcium, particularly with the added consumption of dietary supplements, could lead to health problems, so, exercise caution and make sure you consume calcium-rich foods in moderation.