The most abundantly-available nutrient in our body, calcium also happens to be abundantly critical for maintaining bone strength. Calcium is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body; and this essential nutrient positively enables muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
That’s not all! According to a research article from the US National Library of Medicine calcium reduces hypertensive disorders, prevents osteoporosis, and keeps cholesterol in check. The recommended daily intake of the mineral stands at 1000 mg!
While milk is our most conventional source of calcium (125 mg of calcium per 100 ml of milk), there are other food sources that are equally rich in calcium if not more. Let’s delve deep into the top seven calcium-rich foods that you need in your diet right now:
1. Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese is an aged Italian wonder named after its area of production ‘Parma’. Made with unpasteurized cow milk, it works beautifully when grated over pasta dishes, stirred into soups and risottos.
Parmesan cheese is not only a brilliant source of calcium (a 100 grams of parmesan gives about 90% of the daily required intake of calcium), it also offers a good source of protein, fat, vitamins (A, B6 & 12), and is low in lactose!
2. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a rich source of calcium as they offer 250 to 600 mg of calcium per 100 grams of seeds. These tiny power-packed nutrients, pack a punch full of fibre, protein and vitamins (B1 and B2).
Chia seeds are also low in calories (101 calories per 28 grams) and are loaded with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, thereby helping in managing weight, warding off heart ailments, and maintaining bone health.
Of all nuts, almonds have the highest calcium content (28 grams of almonds delivers 8% of the recommended dietary intake of calcium).
They are also a rich source of fibre, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, fats, and protein—and hence help in lowering blood pressure, body fat, and other risk factors for metabolic diseases.
Providing us with 53% of the daily dietary recommendation of calcium (per 100 gram of tofu), this versatile ingredient is also an excellent source of amino acids, iron, and other micronutrients.
Believed to be accidentally discovered about 2000 years ago in China, tofu is a gluten-free and low-calorie food that contains no cholesterol and helps fight cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, liver damage, and also offers relief for certain symptoms of menopause.
5. Black eyed peas (lobhia)
Besides being a good source of calcium (10% of the daily dietary value per 100 g of lobhia), black-eyed peas are low in fat and high in protein and hence possess disease prevention qualities. These calcium-rich fibrous beans help lower blood levels of damaging LDL cholesterol, prevent osteoporosis, and heart disease(s).
6. Beetroot greens
This superfood is packed with high amounts of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, protein, magnesium, zinc, and fibre. Offering 114 mg calcium per 100 gram, it also happens to be extremely low in calories, fat, and cholesterol.
In this long line of benefits, beetroot greens also contain plenty of nitrates that help lower blood pressure, improve oxygen levels, fight inflammation, improve digestive health, and support brain health.
Commonly known for its high vitamin C content, orange is our go-to citrus fruit for salads and juices. Enriching us with 40 mg of calcium per 100 grams of orange, this low-calorie fruit contributes to clear skin, lower blood pressure, improves cardiovascular health, and the presence of fibre helps with weight management and controlling diabetes.
Calcium is the magic mineral that you need and now, you know which foods are rich in it!