High Calcium Diet
Calcium is one of those precious gems, which is of utmost necessity to the human body. The mineral is the most abundant cation in our body, as it maintains our valuable neuromuscular functions in us. We need calcium, along with other nutrients to make sure that we have a strong skeletal and immune system. Most of the body’s calcium deposits, around 99% are in our bones and teeth. The human skeleton is like a reservoir where the body’s calcium is deposited and reabsorbed.
To ensure that our body never runs out of calcium (calcium deficiency and associated diseases with the condition), we need more calcium-rich foods daily through a high calcium diet.
Why would you need a high calcium diet?
Calcium is an important mineral. If we asses our boy, our bones and teeth need calcium deposit to balance calcium-rich foods and their deficiency. Also, it is important to understand that balancing the need for calcium and calcium deficiency, makes for our body’s nerve impulse transmission, contraction of muscles, regulation of heartbeats, supporting our blood abilities to clot, and more. In short, calcium is essential to sustain human life.
How to make a calcium-rich diet?
Many of us may know the best sources of calcium but do not know to make an efficient everyday calcium-rich diet plan. Let’s find out here:
- Start your day with calcium-fortified cereals, and some oatmeal or a glass of orange juice. If you enjoy drinking milk, grab a cup of whole or skimmed milk along with it. Alternatively, you can also have a cup of frozen yogurt with one or two eggs, depending on your appetite.
- High calcium diet plans should always have green leafy vegetables. Enjoy your salads with every meal. Collard greens, dandelion, and kale are excellent sources of calcium and can be mixed to make a healthy salad for your lunches. If you like to fish, eat a good portion of salmon or sardines with bones.
- There are many dairy and non-dairy sources that can boost your daily intake of calcium. Tofu, processed cheeses, nuts, bone soups, and sesame seeds are all excellent sources of calcium.
- Desserts are something that we all love at the end of our meals. Make baked dessert and add a spoon or two of blackstrap molasses. It will not only flavor your desserts but also will provide you with an adequate quantity of calcium.
- If you want a high calcium diet, in addition to the above suggestions, you should also add high-quality calcium supplements to your daily diet. Supplements will ensure that your body never runs off calcium (calcium deficiency), providing many long-term benefits to your health.
Calcium can be easily found in a wide variety of foods apart from milk and dairy. Here are some excellent sources of calcium-rich foods that are not just delicious:
1. Salmon and Sardines
Canned salmon and sardines are excellent sources of calcium, especially their edible bones. Apart from it, these fatty fishes are also rich in omega3 fatty acids, which are great for heart health, skin, and brain.
Amongst all nuts, almonds have the highest quantity of calcium. It also provides us with a good dose of fiber, proteins, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E.
3. Green leafy vegetables
Spinach, kale, and collard greens are amazingly healthy and are even high in calcium content.
4. Tofu and Edamame
Tofu that is made with calcium has extremely high amounts of minerals. Edamame is a type of bean and is available in the market encased in the pod.
5. Beans and Lentils
Both beans and lentils are rich in fiber, and other micronutrients like zinc, folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Some of the varieties like winged beans also have good quantities of calcium that we can benefit from.
Seeds like poppy, celery, chia, and sesame are nutritional powerhouses and are extremely high in calcium.
Yogurt is perhaps one of the best calcium sources available, along with having high amounts of proteins and other valuable nutrients. Go for low-fat yogurt, as it is higher in its calcium contents.
8. Whey Protein
Whey protein is a type of protein found in milk that is full of easily digestible amino acids that power muscle recovery and growth. It is also extremely rich in calcium.
9. Fortified foods
Fortified foods like cereals, cornmeal, bread, tortilla, crackers, and flour that have been fortified with calcium make your life easier to meet your daily calcium dose.
Figs have more calcium than any other dried fruits. They also are an excellent source of fibers and antioxidants. The dried fruits are also rich in potassium and vitamin K – the two essential micronutrients much needed for our bone health.
Calcium-rich foods for bones
Calcium is of utmost importance to keep our body growing and keep our bones and teeth strong. Calcium is at any time required by our body. When the body doe not get enough of the mineral in the foods we eat, it starts pulling it out from our bones, and over time, this may lead to weaker bones – a condition called osteoporosis.
If you have osteoporosis, eating calcium-rich foods for bones can be of great help. It helps rebuild strong bones and keeps them strong and sturdy. It also reduces the rate of bone loss. The recommended dose of calcium for men and premenopausal women needs around 1000 mg a day, and pre-menopausal women would need around 1200 mg per day. Teens on the other hand need a little more, around 1300 mg per day.
Eating for your bones is all about eating healthy and well-balanced meals that have foods from the major food groups:
- Vegetable and fruits
- Dairy and dairy alternatives
- Proteins such as meat, fish, and beans, and
- Carbohydrates such as potatoes, cereals, bread, and pasta.
If you are fond of Indian food, then the best calcium-rich Indian food that you can include in your diet are:
1. Paneer, buttermilk, and curd:
Curd is called ‘Dahi’ in India, and is the best probiotic food for a healthy gut. These foods are the best Indian dairy products to get your daily dose of calcium and protein. Panner and curd is also the favorite calcium-rich vegetarian food in India.
In India, pulses like moong, masoor, Makki, and channa can be sprouted resulting in better calcium sources and easily digestible.
Ragi is a whole cereal that is widely consumed in India, especially in the western regions. They are an excellent source of calcium.
The Indian spinach is an excellent source of calcium.
Broccoli has a fair reserve of calcium and can be enjoyed best as a short.
Food rich in oxalate
Many foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, and even fruits and vegetables are high in a naturally occurring substance called oxalate. Spinach, peanuts, beets, and sweet potatoes in particular are very high in oxalate. When this oxalate binds with calcium in our body, it results in kidney stones.
Moderating the intake of such foods is beneficial for people who have oxalate-calcium (kidney stones).
You must eat calcium and oxalate-rich foods together in your meals because if you do so, the oxalate and calcium will tend to bind together in your stomach and not in the kidneys while processing, thereby, reducing the risk of developing kidney stones. The other way out is to identify and reduce the intake of food rich in oxalate.
Foods rich in oxalate for you to know are:
- Leafy Greens: Especially spinach are rich in minerals and vitamins including oxalate.
- Potatoes: Potatoes, mainly the skin is high in oxalate along with high levels of other nutrients like vitamin B and C, and fibers.
- Beets: Beets are an excellent source of valuable nutrients like manganese and folate and also oxalate.
- Soy and Soy products: Soy and soy products are one of the best calcium-rich vegetarian food available. They are also an excellent source of proteins and other nutrients, and also oxalates.
- Legumes: Especially navy beans may be rich sources of fiber, proteins, and other nutrients, but are also high in oxalate.
- Dates: Dates are high nutritious dried fruits, but are also high in sugar and oxalate.
- Raspberries: Raspberries, along with other fruits like avocado, grapefruits, and oranges have very high contents of oxalate in them.
Most plant-based foods will have oxalate in them, but at the same time, these foods are also very good sources of valuable minerals and vitamins. You must ensure that you balance your meals well with high-oxalate foods with other foods, thus ensuring that you do not develop calcium-oxalate stones and at the same time get adequate nutrition through your diet and develop the below-mentioned habits:
- Drink plenty of water all through the day.
- Consume a good amount of calcium-rich foods.
- Limit your sugar and salt (sodium) intake.
- Get enough vitamin C, and
- Cook your food well before consuming it.