5 Calcium-Rich Foods for Strong Bones
Calcium is a mineral that is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a role in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and hormone secretion. The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is 1000 mg, which can be obtained from various food sources. Here are five calcium-rich foods that can help you meet your calcium needs and keep your bones healthy.
Milk is one of the most common and easily available sources of calcium. One cup (240 ml) of cow’s milk provides about 300 mg of calcium, which is 30% of the daily value (DV). Milk also contains other nutrients that are beneficial for bone health, such as protein, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
Milk can be consumed plain or flavored, or added to cereals, smoothies, coffee, or tea. You can also choose from different types of milk, such as skimmed, low-fat, or whole milk, depending on your preference and calorie intake. However, some people may be allergic or intolerant to lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. In that case, they can opt for lactose-free or plant-based milks, such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk, which are also fortified with calcium.
Cheese is another dairy product that is rich in calcium. One ounce (28 grams) of cheddar cheese provides about 200 mg of calcium, which is 20% of the DV. Cheese also contains protein, fat, and vitamin A.
Cheese can be eaten as a snack or added to salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pasta, or baked dishes. You can also choose from different varieties of cheese, such as mozzarella, parmesan, swiss, or feta cheese, which have different flavors and textures. However, cheese is also high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, which can have negative effects on your health if consumed in excess. Therefore, you should limit your cheese intake to one or two servings per day.
Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that is made by adding live bacteria to milk. Yogurt has a creamy and tangy taste and a smooth texture. One cup (245 grams) of plain yogurt provides about 250 mg of calcium, which is 25% of the DV. Yogurt also contains protein, probiotics, vitamin B12, and potassium.
Yogurt can be eaten plain or flavored with fruits, nuts, granola, honey, or jam. You can also use yogurt as a dressing for salads or a dip for vegetables or crackers. You can also choose from different types of yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, which has more protein and less sugar than regular yogurt, or non-dairy yogurts, such as coconut yogurt, which are suitable for vegans or lactose-intolerant people.
Sardines are small oily fish that are rich in calcium and other nutrients. One can (92 grams) of sardines provides about 350 mg of calcium, which is 35% of the DV. Sardines also contain protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium.
Sardines can be eaten fresh or canned, grilled or baked, or added to salads, sandwiches, pasta, or pizza. You can also choose from different flavors of canned sardines, such as tomato sauce, mustard sauce, or lemon juice. However, sardines are also high in cholesterol and sodium, which can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease if consumed in excess. Therefore, you should limit your sardine intake to two or three servings per week.
Broccoli is a green cruciferous vegetable that is rich in calcium and other nutrients. One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides about 40 mg of calcium, which is 4% of the DV. Broccoli also contains fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and antioxidants.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, steamed or roasted, or added to soups, stir-fries, salads, or casseroles. You can also season broccoli with garlic, lemon juice, cheese, or nuts to enhance its flavor. Broccoli has no major drawbacks and can be consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.