Do you know that the intake of calcium-rich foods in your daily routine is important as it helps to maintain your health, bones, and teeth?
You might think that you already are consuming enough calcium via milk for bone health.
However, there are other non-dairy products you can add to your diet to get that amount of calcium your body needs.
Calcium-rich foods enable your body to protect your teeth and smile.
Thus, strong teeth and bones are crucial for your overall health.
Calcium is a mineral that is most abundant in your body and it makes your teeth and bones strong.
Moreover, you can also find calcium in different supplements and vitamins as it is one of the most important minerals your body needs.
It is interesting to note that all the calcium found in your body is present in your bones and teeth.
Let’s learn more about calcium, its importance, and calcium-rich foods you can easily add to your diet.
Role of Calcium in your Body
In addition to strengthening your bones and teeth, calcium is also important for the blood vessels, muscles, and fluids in your body.
Moreover, to keep the functioning of your muscles and blood vessels in the right way, it is important.
Many medical conditions like osteoporosis and diabetes can affect your oral health and make your jaw bone weak.
However, women, in particular, are the ones most likely to be affected by the above diseases and are 3 times more likely to lose their teeth if they are diagnosed with osteoporosis.
According to FDA, Food and Drug Administration, the recommended amount of calcium as per age group is:
Age Amount of Calcium in mg
0 to 12 months 200-250 mg
1 to 3 years 700 mg
4 to 8 years 1000 mg
9 to 13 years 1300 mg
14 to 18 years 1300 mg
19 to 50 years 1000 mg
51 to 71 years 1000 mg for males
1200 mg for females
71+ 1200 mg for both
Importance of Calcium for Teeth
Most often your diet is not rich in calcium-rich foods and this puts you at risk of having weak bones and teeth.
When your body does not contain enough calcium, it leaches the mineral form of teeth and bones.
This can lead to the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
According to many Arabic female dentists, 99% of your calcium is found in your bones and teeth.
However, when there is a low concentration of it, your bones and teeth suffer the most.
Moreover, osteoporosis, and not getting enough calcium can increase your risk of periodontal diseases.
Studies further suggest that people who do not have enough calcium in their diet are more than 50% more likely to develop gum disease.
This is because they do not have enough calcium in their diet.
Thus, when your diet is rich in calcium-rich foods your risk of developing periodontal or gum diseases reduces as well.
It is also important to note that, with low calcium in your body, there is an increase in chances of having weak jaw bone.
This low level can cause loss of teeth thus, leaving you at even greater risk of gum diseases.
You can apply calcium directly to your teeth that provide help in strengthening your teeth and enamel.
Calcium plays an important role in enhancing the effects of fluoride on your teeth.
Most of the calcium usually comes from our diet.
Following are calcium-rich food:
Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt.
Fish mostly sardines and salmon.
leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and collard greens, and pudding
Calcium-fortified juices and bread.
It is very important that you understand the need to take calcium and whether you need it or not.
Soda can damage your teeth and body, thus, it is advised not to take it on daily basis.
If you take soda or sugary drinks on daily basis, you are at risk of increasing your phosphorus levels
Moreover, drawing out the calcium from your bones and preventing from new intake of food.
If there is enough vitamin D in your body, only then it will be able to absorb the calcium it needs.
Sources of Vitamin D for your body include eggs and fortified orange juice.
In addition, sunlight also helps to absorb vitamin D in the body.
Learn more about Vitamin D deficiency here.
You can choose to consume calcium either by supplements or a diet full of calcium-rich foods.
This helps to provide enough quantity of calcium your body needs.
Moreover, it helps to strengthen and maintain your bones and teeth.
However, if you have calcium deficiency, then you can take additional supplements.
But it is important that you consult your doctor before using any types of supplements.
You can add the following calcium-rick foods to your diet and will provide you enough amount of calcium you need.
Most types of cheese are an excellent source of calcium.
Parmesan cheese has the most almost 331 mg or 33% of the RDI per ounce or 28 grams.
Moreover, soft cheese tends to have less amount of calcium and contains about 52 mg or 5% of the RDI.
Many other varieties fall in the middle, providing only 20% of the RDA.
However, as an added bonus, your body absorbs calcium in dairy products more easily than that from plant sources.
Interestingly, aged and hard cheese are naturally low in the concentration of lactose.
Thus, making them easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance.
Dairy products have additional benefits.
A recent study suggests that it may also lower the risk of heart diseases.
Another study suggests that eating cheese regularly helps to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome which raises your risk of heart diseases, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
However, it is important to note that full-fat cheese is also high in fat and calories.
Moreover, they also contain sodium to which some individuals are sensitive.
Another excellent source of calcium is yogurt and many types of yogurt contain live probiotic bacteria that have different health benefits. You can also find it in probiotic foods.
It is important to note that 1 cup of plain yogurt contains about 30% of the RDA for calcium.
It also contains phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins B2 and B12.
Moreover, low-fat yogurt is even higher in calcium with 45% of the RDI in a cup or 245 grams.
Although Greek yogurt is a great source to get extra protein in your diet, it delivers less calcium than regular yogurt.
One study shows that yogurt is better for overall diet quality and improves metabolic health.
Individuals who consume yogurt have lower risks of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
3# Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are high in fiber, protein, and other micronutrients, and also boast lots of iron, zinc, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
Moreover, some varieties of them have decent amounts of calcium.
However, it is important to note that winged beans contain the most calcium.
Almost 244mg or 24% of RDA of calcium is present in 172 grams or a single cup of wing beans.
While beans are a good source of calcium, white beans provide 13% of the RDI.
Other varieties of beans and lentils have less, ranging from around 4 to 6% of RDI per cup.
Interestingly, this is one of the reasons why plant-rich diets are so healthy.
Research also suggests that beans may help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
4# Almonds and Seeds
All of the nuts are one of the best sources of calcium-rich foods.
1 ounce or 22 nuts deliver about 8% of RDA.
Moreover, almonds provide 3 grams of fiber per ounce or 28 grams as well as healthy fats and proteins.
Additionally, they are an excellent source of magnesium.
Thus eating nuts can help lower blood pressure, body fat, and other risk factors for metabolic diseases.
Other than nuts, seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses and are high sources of calcium.
These seeds are poppy, sesame, celery, and chia seeds.
For example, 1 tbs or 9 grams of poppy seeds contain 126 mg of calcium or 13% o the RDI.
They also deliver proteins and healthy fats.
It is important to note that chia seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids as well.
Moreover, sesame seeds contain 9% of RDI for calcium in 1 tbs or 9 grams of as well as other minerals.
These are copper, iron, and manganese.
5# Leafy Greens
The dark leafy green is very beneficial for your health and some of them are calcium-rich vegetables.
Greens that have good amounts of minerals include collard green, spinach, and kale.
For example, 1 cup or 190 grams of cooked collard greens contain 266 mg or a quarter amount of calcium you need a day.
It is important to note that some varieties are high in oxalate, which is a naturally occurring compound.
These help bind to calcium making some of them unavailable to your body.
Spinach is one of these varieties and is also a good option for vegetarians and vegans .
Although it has a lot of calcium, however, it is less available than the calcium in low-oxalate greens.
These include kale and collard greens.
6# Canned Fish
Canned sardines contains 569 mg of calcium while salmon contains 241 mg of calcium per cup.
This makes it one of the best calcium-rich food sources you can consume.
Moreover, when you eat them along with bones you get added calcium.
This is because bones are the main source of calcium in the body of fish.
As the bones are soft, you can easily mash them and severe as they are nondetectable.
Moreover, you can create a spread to serve them or make fish cakes.
Or f you like you can eat whole sardines or chunks of salmon or add them to your salads.
7# Soy Milk
If you do not like regular milk then you can have fortified soy milk which is a great substitute.
Fortified soy milk contains added calcium and contains about 340 mg of calcium per cup as compared to regular milk.
There are different flavors available, thus, you can read the label to make sure you are getting enough calcium.
However, it is important to make sure you are not consuming added sugar as it can often lead to other medical conditions.
You can drink it either alone, or use it in cereal or add it to your morning coffee.
Calcium is important for your bones and teeth, thus taking 1,000 mg of it is important.
Both dairy and non-dairy food products have varying amounts of calcium along with other vitamins and minerals. There are even more important for your bones and teeth, thus maintaining your overall health.
Calcium is an important mineral as it helps to fortify your teeth and keep your gums healthy, However, if you do not consume it, then there is a risk of different dental and health issues. Trying different calcium-rich foods is a good option to make sure you are getting enough calcium.