Calcium is essential not only for bone health, but also for the proper functioning of nerves, muscles, cellular membrane interactions, blood clotting, and mood stabilization. People that have osteoporosis need to consume adequate calcium and vitamin D. The daily calcium requirement is 1,000 mg for those 19-50 years old and 1,200 mg for those older than 50, and the daily upper limit is 2,000 mg.
When people talk about high calcium foods, the first foods that come to mind are usually milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogurt. However, there are many more non-dairy foods that surprisingly are rich in calcium as well. Here are a few calcium-rich foods that you can easily incorporate into your regular diet.
Bok Choy (158 mg for 1 cup cooked, 16% daily value): This is a mild-flavored Chinese cabbage that provides vitamin A and C in addition to calcium and fiber. Try stir-frying it with garlic and olive oil.
Dark green leafy greens: These include kale (94 mg for 1 cup cooked, 9% daily value), spinach (243 mg for 1 cup cooked, 24% daily value), turnips (51 mg for 1 cup cooked, 5% daily value), and collard greens (104 mg for 1 cup cooked, 10% daily value). Try them in salads or soups.
Oranges (52 mg for 1 medium size, 5% daily value): Try eating an orange as a snack or adding a glass of orange juice to breakfast to add some calcium and vitamin C to your day.
Fortified Soymilk (289 mg for 1 cup, 29% daily value): This is a great option for people who are lactose-intolerant to still be able to get adequate calcium. However, not all soymilks are fortified, so be sure to check the labels.
Sardines (351 mg for 1 drained 3.75 oz can, 35% daily value): One of the richest sources of calcium, sardines also provide omega 3’s and vitamin D. Add them to a salad or eat them straight from the can. The bulk of the calcium comes from the bones which are indeed edible.
Fortified Cereals: These include Total (667 mg in ½ cup, 67% daily value), Total Corn Flakes (367 mg in ½ cup, 37% daily value), and Cheerios (60 mg in ½ cup, 6% daily value). Check the label to make sure the amount of calcium is plentiful.
Tofu (56 mg in 1 oz, 6% daily value): Try adding tofu to salads or try them in a stir-fry.
Also Read: Five Nutrition Facts About Eggs