High Calcium Foods
When ranking the essential vitamins and minerals we need to thrive, calcium is on the top of the list. Calcium is imperative when it comes to healthy bone growth. It also is needed for your heart, blood, muscles, and nervous system.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the recommended amounts of calcium we should be getting are:
- 1,000mg for men ages 19-70 and women ages 19-50 (this includes pregnant and lactating women)
- 1,200mg for women who are over 50 and men who are over 70
It’s recommended that children 18 and under should take a daily dose of 1,300mg of calcium to help strengthen their bones. Make sure to talk to your doctor or your child’s pediatrician to help determine the best daily recommended amount for you and your family.
Now that we know how important calcium is, let’s discuss how to reach our daily goals. Thanks to the “Got Milk?” advertising campaigns from the past, we know that dairy can be a great source of calcium. But did you know there are plenty of other high calcium foods?
If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, you don’t have to rely on supplements to get your daily dose of this vital mineral. Here are 7 calcium-rich foods you can add to your diet.
Besides using greens to make a salad, you can throw a handful into your favorite pasta sauce or stir fry. They’re also great in smoothies or your favorite green juice blend.
Vegans and vegetarians have long known the nutritional benefits of soy. It’s filling, versatile, and a great source of protein. It can also help boost your calcium levels. A cup of soy milk contains 155mg, and a cup of firm tofu contains 149mg.
One 3.75-ounce can of sardines contains 351mg of calcium. A 3-oz. can of salmon has 183mg. Add these calcium-rich foods to savory toast, pizza, or salad. Canned salmon is also great to have on hand in your pantry for a quick lunch or dinner of salmon patties.
Eating one of these juicy, refreshing treats provides 60.2mg of calcium, as well as 82.7mg of Vitamin C. You can get your calcium while helping your immune system get ready for cough and cold season.
A tablespoon of sesame seeds boast 87.8mg of calcium and are delicious sprinkled over a variety of dishes. Almonds (did you know almonds are technically a seed?) pack 92mg of calcium per quarter cup. Considering almonds are ground into flour, butters, and pressed into milk, you have ample opportunities to add them to your diet.
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli are also a high calcium food. Throw a cup into mac and cheese, rice, or stuffed in your baked potato to add 35mg of calcium to your meal. You can make a healthy dip by combining greek yogurt and a ranch seasoning packet for your broccoli and other veggies—the yogurt will add an extra boost of calcium and protein to your snack.
Beans are the unsung heroes when it comes to essential vitamins and minerals. A half cup of canned white beans provides 243mg of calcium, as well as 24mg of protein and 16mg of fiber. Bean make a great meat alternative and are both versatile and affordable.
It turns out the dairy aisle isn’t the only alternative to calcium supplements. Hit up your local San Diego farmers market to find delicious ways to add this vital nutrient to your daily diet.