Need More Calcium? Head To The Salad Bar
You don't have to sport a milk moustache on your upper lip in order to get the calcium you need. In fact, some of the best sources of calcium are not in the dairy aisle, but at the salad bar.
From the time we are children we are told that we should drink milk for strong, healthy bones. But there are a couple of flaws in that advice. For one thing, more than 40 million Americans are lactose intolerant and can't properly digest dairy products. Another issue is that dairy tends to be high in saturated fat, making it a poor choice for those with high cholesterol or who are trying to cut down on calories.Fortunately there are many plant-based sources of calcium that give you needed amounts of this vital mineral.
Calcium is essential for healthy bones and plays a role in regulating blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart. Calcium deficiency is linked to poor growth in children and osteoporosis in adults, especially menopausal women.Approximately 99 percent of the calcium in your body is stored in the teeth and bones. If you don't get enough from your diet, your body will pull it from your own bones.
Some of the most significant non-dairy sources of calcium include:
Vegetables: poccoli and dark-green leafy vegetables are potent sources of calcium. One cup of cooked turnip greens or kale can provide the same amount of calcium as an eight-ounce glass of milk. Other calcium-rich greens include mustard greens, collards, Swiss chard and beet greens.
Beans: Dried beans such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas, white beans and lima beans contain calcium and other bone-boosting nutrients. Beans are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into everyday meals.
Tofu:Soybean curds are used to make tofu, which is rich in calcium. One half cup of regular tofu provides up to 135 mg of calcium. Tofu is delicious in soups, salads and as an ingredient in recipes.
Nuts:Peanuts, walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds are good calcium sources. One ounce of roasted almonds provides 80 mg of calcium.Toss a few on your salad or enjoy them as an afternoon snack.
Plant-based milks: Derived from soy, oats, hemp, coconut and flax, plant-based milks are healthy alternatives for people who are lactose intolerant or who are trying to avoid the fat and calories in dairy-based milk.
Many people use calcium supplements to make sure they are getting the recommended amounts of calcium. They are available online and at natural health stores. Some of the supplements on the market can cause gastric distress so work with your holistic practitioner to determine the formulation that works best for you.
Calcium supplementation becomes even more important as we get older, because our bodies don't absorb it as readily. This mineral has an important role to play in keeping us strong and active throughout our lives.
If you're struggling to get enough Calcium in your diet each day, try taking a Calcium supplements fortified with Magnesium and Vitamin D to help support healthy bones.