Calcium-rich foods are essential. Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in building healthy bones and teeth. It also regulates blood pressure, hormone levels and nerve function.
You can get your daily calcium requirements from a variety of foods, including milk and other dairy products. But for optimal absorption, you may want to eat whole food sources that are high in calcium bioavailability, such as fruits and vegetables.
1. Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products are a key part of a healthy diet for all age groups, but they’re especially important for kids and adolescents when bone mass is building. This is when a proper diet can help prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Dairy products contain high-bioavailable calcium and vitamin D, both of which play a crucial role in bone growth and development. They also contain other nutrients, such as protein, phosphorus and magnesium, which can also be beneficial for bone health.
However, the impact of dairy intake on bone mineral density (BMD) in children and adolescents may depend on serum vitamin D levels. A higher intake of dairy was associated with higher BMD of femoral neck and lumbar spine in subjects who had normal 25(OH)D concentrations, but not in those who were vitamin D deficient.
2. Green Vegetables
If you want to grow strong bones, there are plenty of high-calcium foods that you can add to your diet. Dairy products, like milk and cheese, are one of the best sources.
Green vegetables are another rich source of calcium, especially dark leafy ones like kale and collard greens. They’re also high in magnesium, which is essential for bone health.
These veggies are also good sources of Vitamin K, which can help lower your risk for osteoporosis. But, be sure to avoid foods with oxalates, which prevent your body from properly absorbing calcium.
Whether they are cooked or raw, beans offer plenty of calcium to help you maintain healthy bones and muscles. They also contain potassium, which may prevent osteoporosis in later life.
Beans are high in protein, which is another important bone building nutrient. They are a good source of magnesium, which helps with absorption of calcium and potassium.
They are also a good source of folate, which is important for pregnant women and women who are nursing.
To get more calcium from beans, soak them or cook them in water for a few hours to reduce the phytates that can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Alternatively, add them to a soup or stew and let them simmer until tender.
Fruits are a soft, pulpy part of a flowering plant that encloses seeds or seedless structures (Figure 3D). There are two main types of fruits: dry and fleshy.
Dry fruits develop from one ovary of a single flower; pineapples, pears, and raspberries are examples. Aggregate fruits, on the other hand, are mass drupelets derived from many carpels of a single flower.
Fruits are important for bone health because they contain calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K. They also help maintain blood pH levels and reduce acid load in the body, which can weaken bones.
5. Sesame Seeds
Calcium is essential for strong bones, teeth and muscles. It also protects your heart and blood vessels. Cow’s milk is a rich source of calcium, but there are many other foods that can help you achieve bone health and strength.
Sesame seeds are a great source of calcium and other important minerals. They contain magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.
These tiny seeds are a good source of protein for building muscle mass, oil, mineral ash, fiber, soluble carbohydrates, phytate, a host of B vitamins and dietary minerals like calcium, iron, manganese and zinc.
Sesame seeds are beneficial for the cardiovascular system as they contain high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids improve cholesterol levels, which may prevent heart disease and strokes. They may also help regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. They are also a great source of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps produce serotonin and promotes mental well-being.
Broccoli is an alkalizing, nutrient-rich vegetable that is packed with calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K and phosphorus. It also contains magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium more efficiently.
Broccoli has several health benefits, including supporting bone strength and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related disorders. It also has anti-cancer properties.
Consuming broccoli regularly can also help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Its rich antioxidant content can protect your skin from UV radiation, which is one of the most common causes of skin damage and cancer.
Sulforaphane, a bioactive compound in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, is believed to have anti-cancer properties. It may also improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and prevent breast cancer in women undergoing treatment for the disease.
Tofu is an excellent source of calcium and can be easily added to a variety of dishes. It is also an ideal protein substitute for vegetarians and vegans.
Many soy-based products are fortified with calcium and vitamin D to further boost bone health. Some brands are even non-GMO.
A cup of bok choy, for example, offers 74 mg of calcium and just 9 calories.
The leafy green is a good source of phosphorous, which is necessary for absorbing calcium. It also provides vitamin K, which helps the body regulate calcium and form strong bones.
Tofu also contains iron, which is needed for normal muscle function and secreting hormones. It also has ALA omega-3s, which can help reduce inflammation and promote heart health.
Almonds are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients that promote bone strength. They also help the body absorb calcium from other sources, ensuring that bones remain strong throughout your life.
In fact, studies have shown that people who eat one ounce of almonds daily are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis or bone fractures later in life.
They are also high in fiber and protein, helping you feel full faster and prevent overeating.
They are also a good source of vitamins, including vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of cholesterol and reduces your risk for heart disease. It is also linked to protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
9. Green Peas
Green peas are a good source of calcium and are also rich in protein. Moreover, they are high in folate and iron which make them a great choice for pregnant women.
Moreover, green peas are loaded with fibre, which helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
These tiny legumes are also a good source of potassium and magnesium. These minerals are important for bone and muscle health.
Although, they contain phytates, which interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium from the food. However, you can reduce the phytate content of the beans by soaking them for a few hours before cooking them in water.
10. Calcium-Fortified Drinks
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it’s essential for healthy bone growth and function. It also helps regulate blood pressure, hormone levels, nerve transmission, and muscle function.
It also plays a role in regulating the heart rhythm and controlling blood vessel formation. However, it can be hard to get adequate calcium from a standard diet.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are great sources of calcium, especially if you add some green vegetables to your daily meal plan. They are also a good source of protein, so they can help you meet your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
If you’re not a fan of dairy, many non-dairy options are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. These include juices, breakfast foods, soy milk and rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.
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