Most of us already know that calcium is an important mineral that is found in dairy products and keeps our bones healthy, right? It â€śdoes a body goodâ€ť, but the functions of calcium in the human body are more than just bone and teeth structure and dairy is not the only or even the best source!
Muscles need calcium to move and it also helps nerves to carry messages between our grey matter and all of our body parts. It also helps blood to move throughout our bodies via the vessels and helps release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in our bodies.
After the ripe old age of 30 the body stops building bones and we go into maintaining what we have mode. This can easily be achieved through eating a healthy diet and exercising. Supplementing is not a bad idea if you donâ€™t do dairy, with the recommended dosage at 1,000-1,500 mg per day.
There are plenty of foods that do have calcium, this is a list that I retrieved from a handy website called The Worldâ€™s Healthiest Foods (add a booming echo for effect) or whfoods.com (no echo).
Spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens and tofu
Very good sources-
Blackstrap molasses, Swiss chard, yogurt, kale, mozzarella, cowâ€™s milk, goatâ€™s milk, basil, thyme, dill seed, oregano and cinnamon
Romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, sesame seeds, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, Brussel sprouts, oranges, asparagus, leeks, crimini mushrooms, rosemary, cumin seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, scallops and kelp
Remember when supplementing: For most of us, calcium carbonate is a good source, it is inexpensive and does the job. If you are taking medications that suppress stomach acid production then calcium citrate may be the right choice because it dissolves easier for you. Make sure Vitamin D is added to help with absorption and keep in mind that the body can only absorb 500 mg of calcium at a time. It is better to split it up throughout the day and if you are already eating good sources of calcium you might not need to do the full recommended daily dose.
Spinach salad anyone?
About Author Kim Huchel
Kim Huchel is a chef, nutritionist and certified lactation counselor and is the owner of Nutrition Made Simple. She has two daughters, an assortment of four-legged furries and a passion for whole foods and eating healthy. Her best job to date is being Mama...well, most of the time anyway. One of her mantras at home, other than "be the adult" is "eat your rainbow" and she is thrilled to have SJP as a forum to help parents and kids eat their rainbows too!