For a fit and healthy body, a combination of essential nutrients is vital. Nutrients, basically are chemicals, required by an organism for its growth and sustenance. It is obtained from the organism's environment and is used in an organism's metabolism. The nutrients, crucial for an effective functioning of the human body, are vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each of these has its unique function in keeping our bodies healthy. A diet containing all of them is considered a well-rounded diet.
When we talk minerals in the context of their intake, they are technically called dietary minerals. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium are some of them. One of the most abundant and visible minerals out of these is calcium. Calcium is a major dietary mineral with munificent implications on health. It is the most abundant mineral by mass in animals. Bones and teeth are a primary manifestation of the calcium content in our body. Bone density is determined by calcium. They account for more than 90% of calcium in our body; the remaining is used for cellular processes, neurotransmitter release, muscle contraction, and electrical conduction system of the heart.
Foods Rich in Calcium
If the bodily calcium requirements are not met, it could lead to osteoporosis, hypertension, and other problems. Any kind of bony structure in our body can be weakened due to calcium deficiency. If there is an increase in the levels of calcium, it results in fatigue, nausea, anorexia, constipation, depression, or increased urination. It can also result in the formation of kidney stones. Hence, in order to avoid the deficiency or overabundance of calcium, we need to take care to not consume too much of this mineral either by way of foods, or calcium supplements. This dietary mineral may be obtained from a number of food items. We are aware of the most common calcium-rich foods, like milk, cheese, and eggs. However, there are many other foods high in calcium, which we miss out or are not aware of.
Milk: One of the most widely and easily available foods, milk is great for bones. A cup of milk usually contains 290 to 300 mg of calcium. It is supposed to fulfill maximum of the bodily calcium requirements.
Yogurt: It is a favorite of many, and why not! A cup of yogurt contains around 240 to 400 mg calcium.
Egg: This quintessential product has a calcium content of 55 mg, if it's a medium-sized egg.
Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese has a good calcium content. Lip-smacking as it is, half a cup of cottage cheese contains approximately 80 to 100 mg calcium.
Ice Cream: The mere mention of ice cream is enough to make mouths water. Ice cream and frozen desserts made of milk have 80-100 mg of calcium in half a cup.
Powdered Fat-free Milk: A teaspoon of this powdered milk contains 50 mg of calcium.
American Cheese: This type of cheese has 165 to 200 mg of calcium per slice. So, you may have cheese, although with discretion.
Swiss Cheese: This has the highest amount of calcium among the types of cheese. One slice of Swiss cheese has about 270 mg of calcium.
Goodness of Greens
Broccoli: A cup of Broccoli contains about 180 mg of calcium.
Kale Cabbage: This is a type of cabbage which is most beneficial for health. Well, half a cup of kale contains 90 to 100 mg of calcium.
Okra: Okra is not very rich in calcium, though it has a fair amount. Half cup of okra contains around 70 mg of calcium.
Turnip Greens: You can get between 100 to 125 mg calcium in half cup, cooked turnip greens.
Spinach: Spinach is also good when it comes to calcium content. There is around 300 mg of calcium in a single cup of spinach. Now we know, why Popeye likes it so much!
Alfalfa Sprouts: A cup of raw Alfalfa sprouts has 11 mg of calcium. A single boiled or raw artichoke has around 55 mg calcium content.
Asparagus: Half a cup of boiled asparagus has around 21 mg of calcium. Likewise in raw asparagus, 1 spear, the calcium content is 3 mg and half cup canned asparagus has 18 mg of calcium.
Canned Bamboo Shoots: The calcium content in 1 cup of canned bamboo is 11 mg.
Beets (Canned): Beet is fairly good in calcium content. In a cup of beet, the calcium content is 44 mg.
Carrot (Canned): A single cup of canned carrot juice has 57 mg of calcium. Raw carrot, on the other hand, contains 42 mg calcium in a single cup.
Celery: A single cup of raw celery has 41 mg of calcium content.
Cauliflower: Boiled half cup of cauliflower has 10 mg calcium.
Peeled Raw Cucumber: A single cup of peeled, raw cucumber contains 17 mg calcium.
Eggplant: A single cup of pickled eggplant contains 34 mg calcium.
Garlic: A teaspoon of raw garlic has 5 mg calcium content.
Lettuce-butterhead: A cup of raw, shredded lettuce contains 19 mg of calcium.
Edible Mushrooms: One can of mushroom has 14 mg of calcium.
Mustard Greens: A cup of chopped, boiled mustard greens contains 104 mg of calcium.
Onions: One cup of chopped and raw onions contains around 40 mg of calcium.
Green chillies: Canned green chillies contain 50 mg of calcium in a single cup.
Tomatoes: In a canned paste of tomatoes, without salt, you would find around 94 mg of calcium. On the contrary, 1 cup of green, raw tomatoes has only 23 mg of calcium.
Green Beans: Green beans have a calcium content of 55 mg, when they are boiled and a single cup of it is considered.
Potatoes: A cup of raw and baked peeled potatoes contains 26 mg of calcium.
Fullness of Fruits
Apple: Apple contains the highest amount of calcium in the form of juice. A cup of unsweetened apple juice has 17 mg of calcium, whereas, raw apples with skin and without skin have a calcium content of 8 mg and 6 mg, respectively.
Avocados: One cup of avocado has a calcium content of 18 mg.
Banana: There is 8 mg of calcium in a cup of banana. If the bananas are dehydrated, then the calcium content is 22 mg per cup.
Grapes: Green grapes have a calcium content of 15 mg per cup. American grapes contain 13 mg of calcium per cup.
Lemon: A cup of canned or bottled lemon juice contains 27 mg of calcium.
Orange: One large raw orange has a calcium content of 74 mg.
Pineapple: Canned, unsweetened, pineapple juice has 33 mg calcium in a single cup.
Cherries: Sour cherries, which are canned have 26 mg calcium in one cup, and frozen cherries contain 20 mg calcium in a cup. Likewise, a cup of sweet frozen cherries has 31 mg calcium.
Cranberries: A cup of whole raw cranberries has just 8 mg of calcium.
Watermelon: A single cup of diced, raw watermelon has 11mg of calcium.
Strawberries: This yummy red fruit has a calcium content between 25 mg to 35 mg in any form - canned, frozen, or raw.
Pomegranates: A single raw pomegranate has 5 mg calcium.
Apricots: Dried and dehydrated apricots contain around 70 mg of calcium in a single cup, and raw apricots contain 20 mg of calcium.
Acai Berries: These have a fantastic calcium content, i.e., 260 mg per 100 gm of acai berry powder.
Mangosteen: A cup of mangosteen contains around 24 mg of calcium.
Goji Berries: Dried Goji Berries, also called wolf berries have a calcium content of 65 mg per 100 gm.
Blueberries: A single cup of blueberries, canned or frozen has around 13 mg of calcium.
Almonds: This central Asian dry fruit nut has a calcium content of 370 mg per 100 gm.
Might of Meat
Chicken Breast (with skin): Chicken breast when roasted with skin (100 gm) contains 14 mg of calcium.
Lamb: A 100 grams of roasted lamb contains 20 mg of calcium.
Pork: The calcium content in 100 gm of lean roast pork is 25 mg.
Turkey: A roasted turkey leg (100 gm) contains 32 mg of calcium.
Turkey Hot dog: A single turkey hot dog (45 grams) consists of 66 mg of calcium, approximately.
Sardines: This sea food loved by the felines is a fantastic source of calcium. There is a calcium content of around 325 mg in 3 oz of sardines.
Pollock: The calcium content in 100 grams of pollock when cooked is 76 mg.
Perch: The calcium content in 100 grams of perch (cooked) is 100 mg.
Herring: Cooked herring (100 gram) consists of 75 mg of calcium.
Ham: Sliced ham consists of 25 mg of Calcium per 100g.
More Calcium-(wise) Foods
Soy bean: Soy bean yogurt or tofu is a great source of calcium. It has around 150 mg calcium in 4 oz of tofu.
White Beans: A cup of white beans has around 50 mg of calcium.
Chickpeas: Chickpeas (chhole, as they are called in India) have a calcium content of 105 mg in a cup.
Lasagna: A piece of vegetable Lasagna has a whopping 450 mg of calcium in a piece.
Ginger Root/Ginger: The mighty herb ginger has a calcium content of 16 mg per 100 gm.
There are many foodstuffs, which have a fair amount of calcium to suffice our bodily calcium needs. It is difficult to enumerate all them which contain calcium, so when in doubt, consult your doctor for a specific food's calcium content. However, it won't be possible to eat all of these things all the time. So, just make sure that you have anything amongst these various options to fulfill your daily quota of calcium. If you feel that your diet is proving inadequate, have nutritional supplements to replenish your calcium supply. This is imperative because we lose some amount of calcium everyday through discharge of bodily fluids, like sweat.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, the calcium intake for infants is 200 to 260 mg, whereas, for children between 1 to 3 years of age, the calcium intake is supposed to be 700 mg. Children above 4 years of age, however, under 18, must have 1000 - 1300 mg of calcium intake per day, conforming to the recommendation of the ODS. For a normal, healthy adult, the daily requirement of calcium should, ideally be 1000 to 1300 mg. It fluctuates between this range depending on whether the individual is a male or female. However, by and large, the requirements do not vary drastically for both the sexes. It should also be kept in mind that Vitamin D is needed to absorb the calcium, so it is elementary to have a good vitamin-D content in our diets.
After reading the list of all foods rich in calcium, moms wouldn't need to chase and dodge their kids, or nag them to have milk, for they know that when it comes to calcium, you need not always go the "milky way." There is lots more in order to add to their quota of calcium!