Calcium has a main role in a healthy diet. Each body cell is in need of calcium to function in the best way. Calcium intake in the right amount will improve the functioning of the nervous system, bones, teeth, heart, muscles, etc.
For instance, with the support of good calcium intake, the body can build stronger teeth and bones which is very essential as and when you get older. Calcium helps to transfer messages through the nervous system, contract your muscles, and keep your heartbeats in the right manner.
When your body has no enough levels of calcium getting from the food sources or in the form of supplements, then the body takes the calcium from the bones to ensure that the body cells function properly. However, taking calcium from bones will make the bones weak causing many health and psychological issues like anxiety, sleeping issues, depression, irritation and so on.
Top 20 Calcium Rich Foods to Have in 2020
Calcium rich foods are the foods that have more calcium content which improves the calcium levels of the human body. These foods are recommended by doctors to improve our overall health as well as to maintain the daily calcium needs of our body.
The best way to increase the calcium levels in our body is through naturally healthy foods rather than the calcium tablets or supplements. This is mainly due to the fact that your body can absorb calcium from foods than from supplements. Foods rich in calcium can make our bones stronger so that we become physically active and energetic.
Studies also proved that taking high doses of calcium supplements will make your body prone to illness like kidney stones and heart diseases.
When enough calcium is not present in your body, you can get an illness like heart diseases, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, etc.
Having calcium rich foods such as fruits rich in calcium is the best choice for you to increase the calcium levels in your body in a natural way.
Below are the Top 20 calcium rich foods
Apricots are the best source of fruit with good calcium levels present in it. This is a very common fruit available in the market which you can daily include in your diet. You can prepare them as salads, breakfast cereals etc which are foods rich in calcium.
Kiwis are rich in vitamin C as well as calcium which are necessary for the body. There is approximately 60 milligrams of calcium present in kiwi. Hence, having a glass of kiwi juice can increase the calcium content in your body.
Oranges are foods rich in calcium in your body. Daily intake of oranges will improve the calcium, vitamin C levels in your body.
All types of berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries have good calcium content that gives a good amount of calcium in your body ensuring good functioning of your heart, nervous system, bones, teeth, etc. Berries contain around 20 milligrams of calcium in it
5. Leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cabbage, etc are rich in calcium. When you consume leafy vegetables in salads in dinner or lunch, a good amount of calcium will be available to protect you from several diseases.
Apart from dairy products, vegetables have a good source of calcium in it. The options of vegetables high in calcium that you can choose include cabbage, broccoli, green peas, asparagus, okra etc as the substitute of dairy foods.
6. Replace meat with tofu or tempeh:
Often times you can make an alternative of meat as tofu or tempeh. In this way, you can cut off the unsaturated fat from your body and improve your health.
7. Calcium rich nuts:
Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, etc are some of the calcium rich foods. These are eatable as snacks on a daily basis.
8. Non-dairy products
We know that dairy products are a good source of calcium; however, if you don’t like to have dairy products, then the best alternative is to choose the non-dairy products in your diet which also have higher calcium levels in them. This will improve the calcium in your body even though you do not take any dairy products. Some of the non-dairy products that you can have include Turnip greens, Kale, Collard, Mustard greens, Garlic, Basil, etc.
9. Sesame seeds:
Sesame seeds are good sources of calcium and this can be easily used as a seasoning in your dishes. Daily use of it will enhance the calcium content in your body.
10. Calcium fortified cereals:
Having calcium fortified breakfast with cereals like corn; millet oats, rice, etc. will improve calcium. You can try having cereals, fruits, breads etc which can contribute to more calcium intake.
Cheese has high calcium levels. Your daily diet can be a combination of these to increase calcium in your body
As you know, calcium is necessary for your bones to be strong and healthy. Without enough calcium content, you may feel weak and tired soon and also get much bone-related illness like osteoporosis. Therefore a healthy balanced diet with enough calcium intakes is essential for your body even from a young age. Calcium rich foods like cheese can improve your health right from a very young age and It will remain constant all through your life.
If you have weak bones, it can lead to major health problems like osteoporosis and rickets. Thus, make dairy products like cheese yogurt intake a routine thing so that there will be no calcium deficiency in your body. The most ideal way to increase calcium content in your body is through having natural foods which are most calcium rich foods.
12. Lactose free yogurts:
When you are intolerant to lactose, the best way to substitute is to have lactose free yogurts.
Canned fish with bones: Fish is also a good calcium rich food. Salon, tuna, sardine are some of the common fishes that contain a good amount of calcium in it. Canned sardines: Canned sardines are one among the good dairy free calcium rich foods. While buying the can of sardine, you need to check whether the canning is done in oil and also whether bones are included. This is other calcium rich foods which you may consider including in your daily diet or in the alternative days.
13. Beans and legumes:
It is a good idea to include beans or legumes in your daily meals as these are a good source of non-dairy calcium rich foods. Let these be added in your salads, stews, soups etc.
Beans are also rich in calcium which can be given to babies. Beans like white beans, kidney beans, Bengal gram etc are some of the best calcium foods.
14. Ragi (Finger Millet)
Millets such as ragi is the common first foods given to babies. Calcium content is high in Ragi, for about 344mg/100mg Ragi is a good food for babies. It will not take much time to get digested. This is a super nutrition food for the babies and a good calcium source for their bone development.
It is another good option of non-dairy products. Having an oat meal or in breakfast is a good choice to increase your calcium intake.
Nuts like Almonds are non dairy calcium rich foods which you can add for snacks. Your everyday diet can have a variety of nuts like almonds, pista, flax seeds, sesame seeds; cashew nuts etc will be a great choice for your daily calcium needs.
17. Fortified soy, almond and rice milk:
This is other best calcium rich foods which can be taken in the snacks time.
18. Cow Milk
If you are wondering how much calcium in milk, as we know milk is calcium rich food and its daily dose can strengthen our bones and teeth. When you take one cup of cow’s milk, your body gets 276-352 mg calcium if it is non-fat milk. A good amount of calcium is absorbed in to your body from dairy products. Apart from calcium, milk also has high levels of protein, vitamin A food and vitamin D. Consuming goats milk is also another good idea as it has about 327 mg calcium content per one cup.
19. Dried figs
If you are a vegan and thinking about a good option for calcium rich foods apart from fish and meat, then you have many vegan food options to eat on a daily basis.
Also, when you are not interested to have dairy products or allergic to it, dried fig is one of the good calcium rich foods vegan which can be your food choice
20. Black beans
Black beans are a calcium rich plant food and it is one of the must haves in your diet. There are many plat based foods that are calcium sources. Having these plant based foods can increase calcium content in your body in a natural way without the support of any calcium supplements.
Calcium rich foods for toddlers
There is a vital need for a good amount of calcium levels in the growing children, especially in the toddlers are their bones and teeth and every cell of their body is constantly growing. However, most of the time we are not sure about the actual levels of calcium is necessary for the body of a toddler. They do not need the amount needed for adults. Also, their food diet is totally different from that of grown-up.
The ideal quantity of calcium needed in toddlers is as below:
- Children of 1-3 years: 700 milligrams
Thus, as parents, you need to make sure they take the necessary quantity of calcium every day for their proper mental and physical development
Here are some of the ideal calcium rich foods for the toddlers:
Dairy products for toddlers:
Two servings of dairy products in a day is a good option for the toddlers in their growing age. This it will contribute to 500 milligrams of calcium in it. As more quantity of solid foods will not be mostly eaten by them, this option will be better to feed them with the ideal quantity of calcium.
- One serving of each of these dairy products is as below:
- One cup of milk, it can be either whole or low-fat milk
- One cup of yogurt
- One cup of ice cream
- 2 ounces of cheese
- 1 ounce of natural ghee
Vitamin D foods for toddlers:
Calcium will not get absorbed in your body when you don’t have enough vitamin D in your body. Hence, vitamin D is as important as calcium in the body of toddlers. According to research studies, it is necessary for toddlers. Though you can try your toddlers to get exposed to the sun daily, there is also another great way of including Vitamin D rich foods in their diet daily.
Also Read:- Top Heart Healthy Foods to Eat
Below are vitamin D rich foods:
- Orange juice
- Rice milk, soy milk, tofu
- Dark green vegetables like spinach are considered to be a great source of calcium for toddlers.
Calcium rich foods for babies
You need to also make sure that you give Calcium rich foods for babies. Babies need a good quantity of calcium in their bodies for their growth in the right way. However, as they are in the liquid food diet, the calcium intake through liquid food is necessary, especially foods rich in calcium and magnesium.
You need to feed babies with cow milk, goat milk for a good calcium level. You can start it when they are over 1 year old. Until 2 years, whole fat cow milk can be given. Fortified soy milk is another substitute for cow milk or goat milk for babies which are also foods that are rich in calcium.
Thus, having calcium rich foods in your diet is a part of your healthy lifestyle. Hence, it is recommended that you need to always consider a calcium rich diet. Drinking milk or other dairy products is an easy way to increase calcium in your body. If you are someone allergic to dairy products, you can try with milk alternatives like soy milk and almond milk.
However, we have also seen that Vitamin A is also necessary in your body to improve calcium absorption in the body. Hence, along with having calcium foods, you need to also consider taking vitamin D rich foods for the right amount of calcium levels in your body.