Your body needs calcium for a number of things, and one of the easiest ways to get calcium is through your diet. There is some debate about the safety and bioavailability of calcium supplements, and that’s why more people are turning to food-based supplements and diet to get the calcium their bodies to require.
Calcium is essential for excellent bone health into old age. Your heart and nerves need calcium to function well, as well. There are even some studies that suggest calcium, in conjunction with vitamin D, can protect against diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. Unless you’re a farmer who spends a lot of time in the sun and drinks cow’s milk every day, you might be deficient in calcium and vitamin D (our bodies synthesize vitamin D from sunlight). Ok, we’re getting off track here. The bottom line is that you need sufficient calcium in your diet. If you don’t get enough calcium as a child, you might not reach your full height, and you could have low bone mass as an adult. Your body doesn’t make calcium, so you’ve got to get it through diet.
1. Raw Milk
Raw milk is really high in calcium. Cow milk, goat milk, sheep milk, and more have high amounts of calcium, because calcium is needed for bone growth and development, and their milk would have otherwise gone to their growing babies. You can get all that good calcium by just browsing the dairy section of your local grocery or health food store. You can even get milk directly from the farmer by looking online or in local health food magazines for farmers that are willing to sell milk directly to people. You can also eat a variety of dairy products if you don’t like the taste of plain milk.
Most types of cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Cheese tastes great, too.
There are lots of ways to eat it and foods to eat it with. Milk is a little harder for some people if they’re not used to drinking it or putting it on cereal, but cheese is a little bit simpler to work into your diet. Softer cheeses often have less calcium than harder cheeses, and Parmesan cheese has the most calcium.
Your body more easily absorbs the calcium in dairy products than calcium from plant food sources. A lot of cheeses are packed with protein, too.
So, if you’re eating cheese for its nutrients, you’ll probably like that it’s full of protein, too.
Almonds have the highest calcium content of any nut. Almonds are also chock full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Almonds are all-around healthy food, and some have even gone so far as to call them a superfood.
Nuts have a wide variety of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, body fat, and other metabolic disease risk enhancers. You can also get almond butter if you don’t want to chomp down on whole almonds.
Just put some almond butter on your sandwich in lieu of peanut butter.
You’ll probably like the taste even better.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium. Yogurt is also rich in probiotics, which is helpful for digestive health.
Yogurt also has important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients essential for digestive and bodily health. Low-fat yogurt has even more calcium than regular yogurt, which is a surprise to some people.
Yogurt has been shown to increase digestive and metabolic health. People who eat yogurt regularly have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic disease.
Just have a bowl of yogurt in the morning with your oatmeal and orange juice.
5. Collard Greens
If you don’t want to eat dairy, then head toward the collard greens the next time you’re at the health food store. A single serving of collard greens has more than a quarter of your daily calcium needs, and it is Southern comfort food that can be used in a variety of dishes as well as a standalone dish. It has a ton of vitamin A, too.
Greens are full of fiber, macro-minerals, micronutrients, and phytochemicals that help the body function in its top form. You can cook collard greens in butter, olive oil, or coconut oil.
They taste great sautéed or stir-fried. You can cook them in lots of different ways, and they are super tasty when they’re cooked right.
Broccoli has a lot of calcium, its anti-cancer, and it has twice the vitamin C of an orange. This nutritional powerhouse should be paired with other vegetables and greens for a super healthy meal full of calcium. Many greens and vegetables have calcium in them, and you can combine them to get bigger doses of calcium.
If you’re having trouble scarfing down a lot of vegetables, then just blend or juice them together and have them in the morning before breakfast.
You can get super-healthy in a short amount of time by blending and juicing up a variety of calcium-rich greens and vegetables.
Kale is very high in calcium, and it’s also an excellent health food all-around. Many people make kale smoothies with lots of greens in them.
These are excellent drinks to drink in the morning, and they can provide for all your daily calcium requirements.
If you’ve just gone raw food vegan, then make green smoothies and juices every morning to help with the calcium requirement because you’re not drinking milk anymore. Kale can also be used in a number of different recipes and meals, and some consider it a superfood.
It’s related to broccoli and cauliflower, and it’s anti-cancer.
8. Canned Salmon
Who would have thought canned salmon would have so much of your daily calcium requirement? It’s the bones in the canned salmon that do the trick. They can be mashed up along with the salmon meat to give you the calcium you need.
The bones are unnoticeable when they’re mashed in with the salmon. What could be a better source of calcium than getting it through actual bones?
Salmon also tastes delicious, and you can combine it with mayonnaise and relish to create tasty salmon spreads to put on sandwiches.
Sardines have a lot of calcium, too. It’s not just salmon that gets all the attention. The next time you’re at the grocery store pick up some sardines along with some canned salmon. Sardines also have a lot of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re looking to improve your nutrient profile overall, then sardines are a good choice. Don’t just go after calcium, when you could be getting all those other nutrients. A lot of foods that are high in calcium are also high in other nutrients, so you’re covering all your bases.
You want to eat a whole foods diet in general to give you a wide array of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
10. Black-eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are an excellent addition to any home-cooked meal, and they’re easy to prepare and eat. They’re also highly affordable. If you’re not buying black-eyed peas, then you’re missing out on a great side for your meals at home. Black-eyed peas are filled with folate, calcium, and potassium.
You can also make tasty spreads out of black-eyed peas that you mix with other spices and sauces. Spread it over bread for a really tasty treat. Black-eyed peas aren’t just food from the distant Southern past.
They’re great food everyone should be adding to their grocery lists nowadays.