6 calcium-rich foods to keep bones strong

6 calcium-rich foods to keep bones strong

CElk is the most abundant mineral in the body, and is essential for a variety of functions, from building strong bones and teeth to increasing muscle function and even secreting hormones. However, while calcium intake has long been associated with milk consumption, there are plenty of other nutritious and delicious calcium-rich foods to include in your meals throughout the day.

Renowned functional medicine expert and best-selling author Mark Hyman, MD, shared via Instagram that many calcium-rich foods don’t actually contain dairy and still offer a lot of other health benefits because you feel better. Discover your favorite calcium-rich foods, as well as some of the favorites of dietitian Suzanne Pirkle, MA, RDN, CED-S, to make sure your 1,000 mg daily recommendation is easy and delicious, whether you follow a plant-based diet as if not.

The benefits of calcium

“Almost every cell in your body uses calcium in some way,” says registered dietitian Carissa Galloway, RDN. “It’s not just essential for strong teeth and bones: 99 percent of the body’s calcium is in our teeth and bones; calcium is [also] used by our nervous system and regulates muscle contraction. ”Calcium plays an important role in blood clotting and helps prevent and treat osteoporosis, he adds.

How much calcium should you consume?

“Like all other nutrients, the amount of calcium you need depends on a number of factors, such as age and gender,” says registered dietitian Jennifer Maeng, MS, RD. “That said, the recommended dietary amount of calcium is about 1,000 mg a day for the average person. However, teens, postmenopausal women, and adults over the age of 70 need more than that.”

To ensure that the calcium you consume is as effective as possible, Maeng says it is also important to get enough vitamin D. “Vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb calcium,” he says. “Even if you’re consuming enough calcium, a lack of vitamin D won’t allow your body to use calcium and reap the health benefits.”

The best calcium-rich foods to keep your bones and muscles strong

1. Nuts and seeds

Seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods out there and are also very rich in calcium. Pirkle is especially based on sesame seeds, chia, sunflower and poppy seeds to increase your intake. “Sesame seeds alone are packaged in an impressive 351 mg per 1/4 cup serving, which is more than a third of the daily recommendation,” he says.

While it may not be tempting to consume a quarter cup of sesame seeds at a time, you can easily spread your intake throughout the day. They’re a great salad supplement to add an inflammatory crunch and are a great addition to a smoothie or your favorite energy chopping recipe to boost before or after your workout. Plus, tahini counts for your intake, so start raining!

As for nuts, “almonds are great for snacking and a good source of those polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.” Better for you, “he says. they give you the maximum, with about 246 mg per cup, while providing other minerals such as magnesium “.

2. Dark leaf greens

Many of us grew up associating spinach with strong muscles, as Popeye was known to promote dark leafy green. While I was certainly not mistaken, know that others in the family are just as beneficial. Take, for example, glues. According to Dr. Hyman, the collards offer a whopping 268 mg per cup, not to mention a large dose of vitamin B6 and tryptophan which promotes sleep. Pirkle also likes kale, turnips and dandelion vegetables for calcium.

Try combining your intake by rotating the type of dark leafy vegetables you buy for salads, smoothies and more each week to get not only an excellent source of calcium, but a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Dandelion vegetables, for example, are great for the liver and are a good source of potassium, while turnips offer a double dose of benefits for improving bone health, as they pack 153 percent of your daily vitamin K needs in a single cup.

3. Cheese

Pizza lovers, it’s time to shine. Mozzarella in particular is one excellent source of calcium, with 333 mg per serving an ounce and a half, which equates to one-third of your daily needs. In addition to making a delicious topping for Margherita pizza, mozzarella is a tasty pairing in seasonal salads with the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs. Try filling your Caprese salad with some sesame seeds or adding a packet of spinach to your favorite pasta to further increase your calcium intake. And feel free to shave some Parmesan cheese in your salad. “One ounce of parmesan contains about 314 mg of calcium,” says Maeng.

4. Canned fish

Canned fish, especially sardines and salmon, is another favorite among registered dietitians. Not only do sardines have one of the highest calcium counts per serving (351 mg per can, according to Dr. Hyman), but they are also a major source of phosphorus and a good source of vitamin D, both of which are also essential for build strong. bones, muscles and teeth.

Canned salmon, on the other hand, has an impressive 826 mg of calcium per can, which is more than 80 percent of what you need every day. In addition, salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids that support heart health and increase longevity. Canned seafood is a staple of cooking to prepare an easy pantry meal in minutes, whether it’s a juicy salmon burger or sardine paste.

5. I am Foods

We are aware that tofu and other soy-containing foods serve as an excellent source of vegetable protein. However, tofu too provides 61 mg of calcium per serving, and many brands are enriched with extra calcium for an even greater dose of the mineral. Tofu also contains iron and omega-3 ALA, which support a healthy heart and help fight inflammation.

Another great thing about tofu is its versatility. Try it in a stir-fry or turn it into a vegetable ricotta. Mix it with a smoothie or use it as a substitute for scrambled eggs for an early morning calcium boost. If you enjoy exploring other forms of soy, Pirkle adds that edamame provides about five percent of your daily needs, while a cup of fortified soy milk provides 23 percent, on average.

6. Yogurt

Do you prefer something creamy in the morning? Try adding yogurt to your morning breakfast to increase your calcium intake. This food is one of the best sources of mineral out there, offering 415 mg for an eight-ounce serving of low-fat natural yogurt. Look for a yogurt full of probiotics to further improve your heart health: it will taste delicious on its own or when added to a smoothie, an oatmeal recipe at night or combined with chopped nuts and berries for a snack full of magnesium to go to bed.

7. Milk

Perhaps the most obvious calcium-rich food, “a cup of cow’s milk contains between 300 and 325 mg of calcium depending on the percentage of milk fat; that’s about 25 percent of the daily value,” says Maeng. “Goat’s milk also contains about 330 mg or 25 percent of the daily value of calcium per cup.”

8. Beans

Some sources of calcium are especially affordable. “One cup of chickpeas provides about 244 mg of calcium,” says registered dietitian Carissa Galloway, RDN.

Can too much calcium be consumed?

“Hypercalcemia is a condition that is associated with high levels of calcium,” says dietitian Kim Rose, RDN. Excessive calcium intake can lead to excessive thirst and urination, as well as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and confusion. However, it is very rare to develop this condition as a result of ingesting calcium-rich foods. “There’s an upper limit to calcium intake. This usually happens when someone takes too much calcium from supplementation, not when they’re consuming too much calcium in their diet,” says Galloway. “Adults should not consume more than 2,000 mg of calcium per day.”

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