All of us need to make sure we’re getting enough calcium in our diets, whether we’re looking to support our bone health or maintain healthy blood pressure levels. It turns out that plenty of foods we eat regularly are high in calcium – and many of them aren’t even dairy products! Read on to learn about the top 10 calcium-rich foods you should be eating every day.
1) Almonds – Calcium-Rich Foods
If you’re looking for a calcium boost, then it’s hard to go wrong with almonds. Not only are they rich in calcium (with one serving having more than 20% of your daily intake), but they’re also an excellent source of vitamin E and antioxidants. As if that wasn’t enough, research has shown that almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. Keep a bag handy at work, or take some when you head out for a run!
Just 100g of almonds contains 525mg of calcium. That’s more than 20% of your recommended daily intake in one serving! They also provide you with 12g of protein, which makes them a good post-workout snack. Did we mention they’re also a good source of vitamin E and antioxidants? All in all, almonds are one superfood you should definitely keep stocked at home.
2) Blackstrap Molasses – Calcium-Rich Foods
Packed with calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus (among other important minerals), it’s a versatile food that can be added to just about anything. Here are five great ways to incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet: 1. Add blackstrap molasses to morning porridge or yoghurt. 2. Mix it with extra virgin olive oil and use as a dressing for green salads. 3. Add blackstrap molasses as an ingredient in homemade barbecue sauce or a homemade steak rub. 4. Sprinkle some on popcorn. 5. Give cookies, cakes or brownies a boost by adding a teaspoonful of blackstrap molasses to each batch you bake. There are plenty of foods out there high in calcium—but few offer so many additional health benefits as blackstrap molasses!
Kale, one of our favourite leafy greens to make a regular appearance on our plate, is chock full of calcium. Just one cup of raw kale has an entire day’s worth (about 500 milligrams) of calcium—that’s more than milk! Though keep in mind that although kale is high in calcium, it’s also very high in oxalates and other compounds that prevent your body from absorbing it.
One cup of sliced oranges provides about 80mg of calcium. Both orange juice and zest are good sources of calcium, too. Along with providing over 100% of your daily value for calcium, oranges also provide potassium, folate, vitamin C and thiamin. Furthermore, they’re high in fiber to promote digestion and help you feel full longer.
For those looking to boost their calcium intake, spinach is a top 10 choice. One cup of spinach provides about 30 per cent of your daily value for calcium. In fact, it has over twice as much calcium per calorie as milk. It also provides vitamin K and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin that protect against cancer. Don’t want to eat fresh? Frozen spinach can also be a great source of calcium if you don’t like raw greens.
Tofu is a calcium-rich food that has been shown to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis. In fact, in one study conducted by researchers at U.C.L.A., tofu consumption was linked to higher bone density and lower risk of hip fractures for postmenopausal women.
7) Fortified Dairy Products (Cheese, Milk, etc.)
Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. The next time you’re cooking dinner, reach for a block of cheese or a carton of milk and you’ll be adding a healthy dose of calcium to your meal. In fact, many dairy products on grocery store shelves contain added nutrients like vitamin D—which makes it easier for your body to absorb calcium and can help prevent osteoporosis.
Soybeans contain more calcium than almost any other food. Soybeans are also a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, folate and magnesium. The soybean is a common component in many foods, including tofu and tempeh. Interestingly enough, tofu is not considered to be a good calcium source because it contains phytates which prevent some of its calcium from being absorbed by your body.
One cup of cooked soybeans has 376 milligrams of calcium, which is 46 per cent of your daily value. This is more than any other food on our list.
Broccoli, among other green vegetables, is a good source of calcium and vitamin C. As mentioned above, it’s also one of many vegetables containing sulforaphane. In a six-week study published in the journal Carcinogenesis, mice fed broccoli sprouts (rich in sulforaphane) were significantly less likely to develop skin lesions when exposed to harmful UV rays than animals who weren’t given any sprouts.
However, to be effective, you’ll need to eat a relatively large quantity of broccoli sprouts—about one cup per day. In addition, research has shown that it takes about two weeks for sulforaphane to have an effect on your skin, so don’t expect results overnight.
10) Dried Figs – Calcium-Rich Foods
Just one dried fig contains 36 mg of calcium—the same amount found in a glass of milk. Figs also contain many important vitamins and minerals, including iron, which helps your body make red blood cells that carry oxygen to your organs.
When shopping for dried figs, make sure to look for dried, unsulfured varieties. Sulfur compounds are added to figs to preserve them, but they can create unwanted flavours and aromas.
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