Calcium Better From Food, Says New Study:
Here are the 26 Top Calcium Food Sources
|You all know that calcium is good for your bones, but when it comes to where to get your calcium, well, that’s another story.
Visit any health food store or supermarket and you’ll see close to an entire aisle devoted to calcium supplements. Then there are the claims on food packages like cheese, ice cream, and even fortified orange juice that THEY are the best sources.
So which is it?
Your Best Source of Calcium is From Your Food
Eating calcium-rich foods is a better method to strengthen your bones than taking calcium supplements alone, according to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis. In the study, women who consumed an average of 830 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day in the foods they ate had higher bone-mineral densities (BMDs) than women who took 1,033 mg of calcium in supplement form.
Interestingly, if you’re going to choose one or the other, food appears to be the winner. However, a combination of both food and supplements may also be beneficial. Women who got at least 70 percent of their calcium from food, and took calcium supplements, had the highest BMDs of all and took in 1,620 mg of calcium per day.
What Else is Calcium Good For?
About 1.5 percent of your body weight is made up of calcium, 99 percent of which is in your bones and teeth. Calcium not only helps the strength and density of your bones, it also impacts the metabolism of estrogen in your body, which plays a role in your bone strength.
Calcium also plays a part in many other body functions, including:
- Blood clotting
- Nerve conduction
- Muscle contraction
- Regulation of enzyme activity
- Cell membrane function
Interestingly, your body makes sure that there is enough calcium circulating in your blood to do its part in these physiological activities. If you don’t get enough of this mineral through your diet or supplements, however, it means that your blood levels of calcium will be low.
| Spinach is one of the best food sources of calcium there is (and other leafy greens are a close second).
To compensate, your body will take calcium from your bones to keep your blood calcium levels where they need to be. Over time, this can weaken your bones and lead to osteoporosis. This is why it’s so important to make sure you and your family are getting enough of this important mineral.
The Best Food Sources of Calcium
Contrary to popular belief, dairy foods are not the only sources of calcium. Here are some of the best food sources of calcium out there, including not only dairy foods but a range of others as well:
- Turnip greens
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Blackstrap molasses
- Swiss chard
- Mozzarella cheese
- Milk (goat’s milk and cow’s milk)
- Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
- Romaine lettuce
- Sesame seeds
- Summer squash
- Green beans
- Brussel sprouts
- Crimini mushrooms
Looking for a calcium-rich dish that you and your family can enjoy tonight? Try out these delicious and simple calcium-packed side-dishes with your meal.