Calcium is not only important for healthy bones and teeth but also for overall human health. It is also important for muscle function, blood pressure regulation, and nerve signaling. Many of us think calcium is abundantly found in dairy products which is wrong. Calcium is found in most foods; however, milk and cheese are first-rate sources of calcium.
Calcium Rich Foods
Calcium-rich foods are those that provide a significant amount of dietary calcium, an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health, muscle function, nerve transmission, and other vital bodily functions. Consuming a diet rich in calcium is especially important during periods of growth, pregnancy, and for individuals at risk of osteoporosis or bone-related conditions. These foods not only provide calcium but also contribute to strengthening bones and overall skeletal health.
However, it’s equally important to be aware of calcium-free foods, as they may not contribute to calcium intake. For example, dried cranberries and artichokes are among the fruits that do not contain calcium. Additionally, certain vegetables like mushrooms, apples, asparagus, and bean sprouts, as well as other fruits like oranges, grapes, sweet cherries, and corn, are considered to be low in calcium content or calcium-free.
Our Body Cannot Produce Its Calcium
- A. True
- B. False
Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods
- Dairy Products: Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are well-known sources of calcium. Opt for low-fat or fortified options for a healthier choice.
- Leafy Green Vegetables: Vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, and bok choy are rich in calcium and provide additional vitamins and minerals.
- Fortified Plant Milks: Many plant-based milks, like almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk, are fortified with calcium to match or exceed the levels found in cow’s milk.
- Sardines and Canned Salmon: These small fish, especially when eaten with their edible bones, are excellent sources of calcium and also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
- Tofu and Tempeh: Tofu and tempeh, which are made from soybeans, are versatile sources of calcium that can be included in various dishes.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds not only provide calcium but are also rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They can be added to smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal.
- Almonds: Almonds are a good source of calcium, healthy fats, and protein. They make for a convenient and nutritious snack.
- Oranges: While not as high in calcium as some other foods, oranges and orange juice can contribute to your calcium intake. Plus, they’re rich in vitamin C, which aids calcium absorption.
- Figs: Dried figs are a natural source of calcium and can be enjoyed as a snack or added to cereals and salads.
- Seeds: Sesame seeds and poppy seeds are rich in calcium and can be sprinkled on salads, yogurt, or incorporated into baking.
Remember that calcium absorption can be influenced by other factors such as vitamin D intake and overall dietary habits.
Too Much Calcium Can Cause Diseases
Higher levels of calcium can also harm your health and can cause constipation, nausea, irregular heartbeat, create kidney stones, and it can even lead to death. Having too much calcium can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron and zinc. Higher amounts of calcium might cause an increased risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.
Calcium is widely found in most foods, and it is difficult to find foods without calcium though we have listed a few foods that are calcium-free or contain low amounts of calcium.
Foods Without Calcium
Calcium is found in many foods but fats and oil are exceptions. However, not all are calcium-free. Fats and oil that are calcium-free are, Here Some of the List of Foods without calcium.
- Beef and chicken
- Vegetable shortening
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Peanut oil
- Shea Nut oil
- Oat oil
- Sunflower oil
- Soya bean
- Low-calorie mayonnaise
Fruits and Vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables are generally low in calcium, but there are several other foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for bone health and overall well-being.
Foods High in Calcium and Vitamin D:
- Dairy Products: Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich sources of calcium and are often fortified with vitamin D.
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, collard greens, and broccoli are excellent plant-based sources of calcium.
- Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are not only high in vitamin D but also provide calcium.
- Fortified Plant Milk: Certain plant-based milk alternatives, like soy milk and almond milk, are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
- Orange Juice: Some orange juices are fortified with both calcium and vitamin D.
- Cereals: Certain breakfast cereals are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
- Tofu: Tofu made with calcium sulfate is a good source of both calcium and, if fortified, vitamin D.
- Sardines: Apart from being a good source of calcium, sardines also contain vitamin D.
- Fortified Soy Products: Fortified soy products like tofu and soy yogurt can provide both calcium and vitamin D.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a plant-based source of calcium.