Among plant-based sources, dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, collards, turnip greens, and kale rank among the highest sources of calcium available.
No matter your age gender or health, we all require calcium in our diets. Calcium is an essential nutrient that is needed for a healthy human body and bones.
Our bodies cannot create calcium, so we must get our calcium from food. However, with calcium being an essential nutrient, you should always focus on consuming suitable foods.
Calcium is a mineral that is absorbed through our digestive system. It is a crucial nutrient that is used to build bones and teeth.
It’s found in a wide range of plant-based foods, so this means there are plenty of ways to get calcium into our diets. The four main sources of calcium are milk, soy products, yogurt, and legumes.
Get calcium from greens, beans, or fortified foods
The absorption of calcium from leafy greens, collard greens, pinto beans, and some white beans can be up to three times higher than it is from dairy products.
This is because the fiber content in these foods helps them move through the digestive tract more quickly.
Leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, bok choi, arugula, mustard greens, beet greens, collard greens, and turnip greens have been shown to contain between 300 – 400 mg per 100 grams.
These types of plants also tend to be low in calories, making them ideal for weight loss.
Yogurt contains about 200mg of calcium per cup, while tofu has around 130mg per serving.
In addition, many studies have shown that people who consume more calcium-rich foods tend to be healthier overall. This includes having lower rates of heart disease and osteoporosis.
However, if you choose to eat dairy, make sure you opt for low-fat varieties. This will help you avoid getting too much-saturated fat.
Doing a plant-based diet is an effective way to provide calcium requirements in our bodies. Our body needs a daily calcium intake of 1,200 mg per day.
If you don’t meet this requirement, then you may experience bone loss and muscle weakness.
Tofu brands high in calcium
Tofu is a vegan source of a variety of nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc, B12, vitamin D, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
There are several different kinds of tofu available, each with its own unique nutritional profile.
Some of the most common types include silken tofu, soft tofu, firm tofu, extra firm tofu, and baked tofu.
- Silken tofu is best known for its creamy texture and mild flavor. Soft tofu is often considered a staple ingredient in Asian cuisines.
- Tofu with high content of calcium is usually made from soybeans that have been fermented for at least five days.
- Firm tofu is commonly used in stir fry dishes and soups. Extra firm tofu is great for baking and grilling.
- Baked tofu is generally sold as a snack item. It’s typically made from soybean curd that has been pressed before cooking.
Exercise, so calcium has somewhere to go
Doing exercises can help us absorb more calcium from our food. Regular exercise increases blood flow to the muscles, which allows calcium to enter the cells faster.
There are several different forms of exercise that can help increase calcium levels in our bodies. These include strength training, running, walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and weight lifting.
When choosing what form of exercise to do, make sure you select one that suits your lifestyle. For example, if you work long hours, your calcium in your bones tends to decrease over time.
Therefore, you might want to consider doing strength training at home, rather than going to the gym.
Other tips for increasing calcium:
- If you’re pregnant, breast feeding, or trying to conceive, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
- Include protein in your meals. Protein keeps your muscles strong and helps your body use the nutrients you consume.
- Drink lots of water. Water flushes out toxins and helps keep your kidneys working.
Drink milk for bones strong and healthy. Milk is an excellent source of calcium. It’s important to drink milk regularly throughout the year.
If you’re lactose intolerant, try drinking non-dairy milk such as almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk.
You should aim to drink two cups of milk each day. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to double this amount.
Make sure you drink milk with breakfast. Milk is naturally calcium-rich and it’s best consumed first thing in the morning.
Get vitamin D from the sun, or supplements if you need them
The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but some people find they need extra supplementation. Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium.
Vitamin D3 is found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring, trout, and halibut.
This type of fish also provides omega 3 fats, which are good for brain health.
Some other foods that are high in vitamin D include mushrooms, egg yolks, cheese, liver, cod liver oil, and fortified cereals.
The effects of calcium supplementation
A low density of calcium can affect our body and bones, However, there are many ways we can get enough calcium without taking supplements.
The effects of calcium supplements on our body include:
- Reducing risk of osteoporosis and fractures
- Improving absorption of iron
- Helping prevent constipation
- Increasing energy levels
- Boosting immune system
- Preventing heart disease
The dangers of excessive calcium losses
The most common risk of having excessive calcium losses is metabolic bone diseases. Many people don’t realize that their diet isn’t providing enough calcium.
Excessive loss of calcium through urine can cause kidney stones, muscle cramps, and even death.
It’s important to note that women who have had babies may be more prone to developing these conditions because they lose calcium during pregnancy.
However, menopausal women are also at risk of developing these problems.
People with kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperparathyroidism are also at increased risk of losing too much calcium.
- Negative impact on bone health
There are many reasons why calcium intake might not be sufficient. The main reason is that the body doesn’t absorb all of the calcium that is available.
Another reason is that people often eat less calcium than they think they do.
For example, one study showed that only about half of Americans meet the recommended daily allowance for calcium.
Other studies show that only about 10% of adults actually take in adequate amounts of calcium every day.
When we don’t get enough calcium, our bodies’ estrogen levels and bone mineral density will decrease. This leads to an increase in the risk of osteoporotic fractures.
How does calcium work?
Calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones by strengthening the bones’ structure. It also plays a role in keeping blood pressure normal.
Calcium is also needed for proper nerve function, including muscle control and memory formation.
In addition, calcium has been shown to help regulate insulin secretion and metabolism. Doctors recommend that doing dietary allowance can help us avoid some serious medical issues.
Consider fortified, non-dairy milk as a regular calcium source.
Non-dairy milk is a good source of calcium. This absorbable calcium does guarantee bone protection and amounts of vitamins.
The calcium in cow milk comes from the grasses eaten by cows. This means that milk from cows-fed grains such as corn and soybeans won’t provide as much calcium.
These healthful calcium sources can provide a strong bone matrix and healthy bone density.
There are fortified, non-dairy milk options available. These products contain added calcium and vitamin D.
These products are usually available in cartons or cans. They are easy to use and convenient for those on the go.
If you’re looking for other calcium-rich foods, consider adding some leafy greens like kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, and turnip greens into your meals.
You can find them in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. They are great sources of calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Banana and non-dairy milk
Have actual calcium content that can make it easier to meet your daily needs. Milk contains protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins.
- Homemade almond milk
Homemade almond milk has a concentrated calcium source and adequate protein Almond milk is a perfect replacement for dairy milk.
Almonds are a great source of calcium. They are also loaded with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus.
- Homemade nut milk
Nut milk is a delicious way to add calcium to your diet. You can make any type of nut milk; just choose the right nuts!
Nuts are packed full of nutrition. They are also very versatile. They can be used in baking, cooking, and even making ice cream.
Calcium-fortified orange or apple juices
Fruit juices and orange juice can also be tasty ways to get calcium. Calcium citrate is the most common form of calcium found in fruit juices.
It is easily absorbed by the body.
Orange juice is a great option because it provides both vitamin C and calcium. Vitamin C helps the body absorb calcium.
Apple juice is another excellent choice. Apple juice is naturally low in calories and sugar.
Both these juices are great alternatives to dairy milk. It can make healthy bones and bone mineral density.
What is calcium density?
Calcium density is the amount of calcium per ounce of food. The high calcium diet has become common among athletes who want to maintain strong bones and teeth.
However, a diet rich in dairy products contains saturated fats which may lead to heart disease.
Therefore, choosing foods like almonds, eggs, broccoli, salmon, avocado, milk, and cheese is recommended over other types of calcium-rich foods.
The higher the concentration of calcium, the greater the nutritional value it has.
How do I know if my diet is lacking in calcium?
A lack of calcium intake can result in weak bones and brittle bones.
In addition, osteopenia and osteoporosis are conditions associated with an inadequate supply of calcium.
Here in the UK, Many people suffer from Osteoporosis. This condition occurs when there is a loss of bone mass.
This leads to fragile bones that break easily and cause fractures.
There are many factors that contribute to this problem. These include genetics, age, hormones, lifestyle, and diet.
Some of the symptoms of osteoporosis include:
- Bone pain
- Loose teeth
- Loss of height
- Swelling in the legs
- Loose joints
- Hip fracture
Osteoporosis affects millions of women and men around the world.
If you are concerned about your health, visit your doctor. He or she will conduct a physical examination and ask questions regarding your medical history.
Your physician will then recommend tests to determine whether you have osteoporosis. If so, he or she will suggest ways to treat it.
He or she may prescribe medications such as bisphosphonates or hormone therapy. These treatments can slow down the rate at which your bones lose their minerals.
They can also reduce the risk of future fractures.
Determinants of bone status and deficiency with osteoporosis
Determinants of bone density include genetic factors, age, gender, diet, physical activity, medication use, hormonal status, and lifestyle choices.
The amelioration of osteoporosis Age – As we grow older, our bodies start losing bone mass.
Genetics – Some families have a tendency to develop osteoporosis.
Menopause – Menopausal women experience a decrease in estrogen levels.
Pregnancy – Pregnant women need more calcium than non-pregnant ones.
Weight – Being overweight increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. A study showed that obese postmenopausal women had lower bone mineral density than normal-weight women.
Medication use – Certain drugs can affect bone metabolism. For example, corticosteroids increase the breakdown of bone tissue.
It could also lead to bone resorption and an increased risk of fractures.
Intestinal calcium absorption
Calcium absorbed in the intestine is not immediately released into blood but is stored in the bone to be later released when needed.
The impact on calcium absorption in our body does depend upon the type of food consumed.
Foods containing dietary fiber help increase intestinal calcium absorption by binding to the calcium and making it easier for the body to absorb.
The bone strength of human beings is determined by the amount of calcium present in them.
So, having adequate amounts of calcium helps build strong and healthy bones.
The misconceptions about calcium
Some people do have misconceptions about calcium acquisition. The 12-year Harvard study about calcium consumption showed that only half of humanity consumes adequate amounts of calcium.
Many people believe that they need more than 1,000 mg of calcium daily. However, studies show that adults require between 700 and 1,200 mg of calcium every day.
Our attention to calcium should be focused on its role in maintaining strong bones. Calcium helps build stronger bones and prevents them from breaking.
It is important to get enough calcium for healthy bones. We all need to eat plenty of dairy products and vegetables to obtain sufficient amounts of calcium.
And we must also make sure that we consume adequate amounts of vitamin D and magnesium.