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Calcium Rich Foods

It is essential to include calcium rich foods in the diet regularly, to gain the required amounts of calcium. This article will give you more information on foods containing good amounts of calcium. Read on.
Calcium is one of the most important mineral required by the human body. It plays an important role in formation, development and maintenance of bones in the human beings. Babies and growing children have a great requirement of calcium for proper growth and development. Secondly, calcium is also essential to have strong and healthy teeth. Calcium benefits include its use in proper functioning of the cardiovascular and circulatory system. In case of women, it is essential for normal functioning of the endocrine glands. Lack of calcium in the diet can lead to abnormal growth in children, osteoporosis, weaker and hollow bones and teeth, etc. In order to prevent these deficiency diseases, one should include calcium rich foods in the diet regularly. Let us take a look at foods high in calcium in detail.

Calcium Rich Foods

There are several foods that contain good amounts of calcium. We are aware that milk is considered as one of the best sources of calcium, which provides the required amount of calcium everyday. However, apart from these, there are several calcium rich foods other than milk, that can be included in the diet regularly. The following is a list of high calcium foods:

Dairy Sources
  • Whole, skimmed milk
  • Plain yogurt
  • Cream
  • Cheese
  • Milk shakes
  • Milk products
Non Dairy Sources
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Fish Paste
  • Tofu
  • Rhubarb
  • White, navy, black turtle beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Soy bean
  • Oats
  • Apricots
  • Figs
  • Oranges
  • Currants
  • Collard greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Okra
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts
  • White bread, rice, pasta
Apart from the above mentioned ones, calcium rich foods for kids and adults include foods that are fortified with calcium. For e.g., fortified breakfast cereal, fortified orange juice, fortified soy milk and drink mixes, etc are good sources of calcium. These can be easily incorporated in the diet, especially in case of kids.

Calcium Dosage

One should note that calcium is required by the body on a daily basis and hence, it is essential to consume dairy or non dairy calcium rich foods everyday. The daily calcium requirement for babies between 0-1 year of age is 200-270 mg/day; the requirement of calcium for 1-8 years is from 400-800 mg/day. In the growing years, i.e., from 8-18 years, males and females require as high as 1300-1400 mg calcium every day and in the later life it should be around 1000-1200 mg every day. This can be obtained by having calcium enriched foods everyday. It should be noted that if the body is deficient in calcium, it takes up calcium from the bones, thus, weakening them. On the other hand, if excess calcium is consumed for a longer period of time, it gets stored in the body in the form of kidney stones. Excess calcium also exerts a pressure on the kidneys, leading to kidney disorders. Therefore, one should consume only prescribed amounts of calcium everyday.

Apart from the foods, there are several calcium supplements available in the market in the form of tablets or syrups. One should note that supplements should only be taken in case of severe deficiency disorders. As mentioned above, too much calcium is harmful and can lead to toxicity. Calcium overdose or toxicity can occur mostly due to consumption of calcium supplements. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the doctor before going for any supplements. Advisably, it is better to include dairy, vegetables and fruits high in calcium in the diet.

This was brief information on calcium rich foods and calcium dosage. Lastly, one should remember that calcium is very important to carry out various functions in the body and hence, one should have a diet rich in calcium and all other essential vitamins and minerals everyday. Take care!
By Madhura Pandit
Published: 8/6/2010
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