Calcium and the Foods You Eat
Everyone knows that calcium is good for your body, bones, and teeth. Even young kids know that you can get calcium from milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and other milk products. But what most people don’t realize is all the other foods with calcium.
- Dark leafy green vegetables contain a lot of calcium. Adding these foods into your diet will add lots of calcium. These are foods like broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, kale, brussel sprouts, and more.
- Soy is another non-dairy way to get calcium. Soy products are often made to replace dairy. You can get soy cheese, ice cream, milk, and yogurt at any grocery store. Soy and tofu can add more calcium to your diet.
- There are plenty of calcium fortified foods. You can find extra calcium added to cereals, orange juice, and more.
- Beans are another way to get calcium from food. White beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and more will give your diet a great boost of calcium.
- Fish is great for more than just calcium intake, but it is good for that too. Sardines and other small canned fish carry a lot of calcium in them.
If you enjoy dairy and prefer to get your calcium from food, but find that you are lactose intolerant and milk products make your stomach upset there are other options for you. Many milk products are many with a lactose free option. There are also pills that you can take before you eat dairy to help your gut digest the milk. If dairy is still too harsh on your system you can switch to soy products.
Vitamin C and vitamin D are both important for the absorption of calcium. For the most part calcium on its own will not be absorbed into the body. Both vitamins C and D are needed to make that process happen. Your body uses calcium to regulate muscles and nerve function. Without calcium your body will steal this mineral from your bones. This can cause serious complications in the long term. When you are older if your bones are not strong enough it can lead to osteoporosis. Exercise is another vital piece to keeping diseases like osteoporosis at bay. By doing weight training you help to keep bones strong for a life time.
If you want or need to boost up your calcium intake based off of the calcium in food there are some simple ways to eat more calcium. By added low fat cheese to your meals you can get a boost of calcium. Add yogurt to your breakfast or lunch. Add white beans into your favorite soups or stews. Get some soy ice cream for an evening snack. By choosing low fat dairy options you are getting the benefits of calcium without the fat that can come with dairy. Cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, and ice cream are all available in low fat options. By making the right choices you can eat many different foods with calcium.