For the wholesome way of life, a human being needs all their organs and systems to function well in an uninterrupted manner. There are a number of essential microelements, which, like ‘building blocks,’ are involved in the body’s construction and ensure its proper condition throughout life. Out of these microelements, calcium is vitally important to health and well-being. Its concentration, the stability of the balance of its metabolism, and the amount of intake into the body affect more than the appearance of teeth, hair and nails. The substance is involved in:
– normalizing bone tissue structure;
– stabilizing the functioning of the nervous system, and the conductivity of nerve impulses;
– forming enzymes that contribute to muscle contraction;
– ensuring the permeability of cellular membranes to various elements;
– creating the conditions for the functioning of the blood clotting process.
The human body cannot synthesize calcium on its own. Therefore, the main sources of calcium intake are the products with a high content of microelements, as well as vitamin and mineral complexes in the form of food supplements. Moreover, since the human skeleton is completely renewed every 7 years, by paying careful attention to your own nutrition it is possible to balance your calcium level at any age.
The main products that are ‘calcium-friendly’
The debate about whether products of animal or vegetable origin are the best ‘suppliers’ of calcium is still ongoing among specialists. Most of them believe that microelements from animal sources are better absorbed by the body.
The most popular and affordable of them are dairy products:
– sour cream;
– cottage cheese;
– kefir and yogurt;
– hard cheese;
– processed cheese.
The modern dairy processing industry uses technology that reduces almost 10 times the amount of the substance in finished dairy products. At the same time, the requirement for an adult is 1000 mg of calcium per day.
When choosing it is better to pick the brands with no more than 2% of fat, as the manufacturing process of fat removal results in an equal increase of the concentration of calcium. As a result, the finished milk product has lower fat content and an increased amount of calcium compared to similar products with more calories.
The most preferred milk products for a healthy diet are hard low-fat cheeses and cottage cheese. Kefir and yogurt are close behind. The quite high fat content of sour cream and butter prevents calcium from being completely absorbed.
10 calcium-rich foods that should be on the menu
The human body also absorbs calcium from plant sources. There, the microelement blends with enzymes and other minerals that promote its absorption. This allows us to make the menu much more diverse using healthy foods. For people with impaired lactose digestion or allergic reactions, calcium from vegetables is a real godsend.
Foods that are sources of calcium not only bring benefits but also taste good. This one again debunks the myth that healthy foods are often tasteless.
- Salad from…salad
Leafy greens and vegetables from the cabbage family (arugula, watercress, greens of nettle, broccoli, cauliflower and white cabbage) can be called a real ‘fount’ of calcium. A handful of at least one of these ingredients can help fill up a salad portion with up to 200 mg of calcium.
- Salted herring
A small fish as a traditional snack contains 100 mg of microelements in combination with phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption.
- White bean salad
White beans are leading among the other legume crops in calcium content. Canned beans can be the basis of many dishes. One jar of this product contains about 200 mg of the microelement, as well as the daily norm of fiber.
- Pizza with arugula and canned salmon
The source of the health-giving mineral will be the salmon topping, spiced with a generous portion of arugula. Even gourmets will appreciate the 100 mg of calcium in each 100 grams of the delicious food.
- Oatmeal porridge with molasses
One bag of instant oatmeal contains 100 mg of the mineral. Even more, using molasses (1 tbsp.) instead of sugar increases the beneficial qualities of the food 1.5 times.
- Sprat sandwich
A sandwich of the small canned fish, made with whole grain bread with bran, will provide 400 mg of calcium per each 100 grams of this simple snack. As a bonus, it will provide a high quantity of vitamin D and saturated omega-3 acids.
‘Bean curd’ is a plentiful source of the mineral (100 mg per 100 g), as well as soy milk (400 mg per cup).
- Spinach, sesame seeds, soy sauce
This combination will sate you with its nuanced flavors and its beneficial properties. Beside calcium, this side dish contains oxalic acid, antioxidants and macro elements. In addition, the sesame family (sesame seeds) as well as poppy seeds are superior to cottage cheese in calcium content.
- Almond Pie
This dessert is prepared from almonds ground into flour (instead of wheat flour), whole nuts, citrus peel and low-fat cream cheese.
- Dried Mediterranean herbs
Slightly dried herbs will enrich the aroma of any dish. The largest quantity of the microelement is found in marjoram, basil, sage, rosemary and thyme.
The normal absorption of calcium of animal and vegetable origin occurs with the assistance of vitamin D. This should be considered in the preparation of a nutritious diet, especially for children, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women.