Calcium is one very important nutrient that helps in the growth as well as maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Apart from it, calcium also helps in the signaling of nerves, contraction of muscles as well as secretion of certain enzymes and hormones. The deficiency of calcium causes a number of disorders in the human body such as cramps in muscles, numbness in the fingers and toes, lethargic movements, loss of appetite, abnormal heart rhythms, etc. Thus, it is very necessary for all of us to take a healthy and sufficient intake of this nutrient. However, calcium must always be taken as much as required by the body because excess of calcium (especially and specifically from the supplements) causes calcification of the soft tissues of the body, kidney stones, vascular diseases like stroke and can even lead to heart attack. A number of natural ingredients and food supplements are rich in calcium which is very beneficial for one’s body. Here is the list of top five calcium rich foods that you should certainly add in your diet in order to maintain the proper level of calcium inside your body.
1. Fortified Soy Products:
We all know that soy is very rich in calcium. A number of people today consume soy products in their meals in order to retain the levels of calcium in their bodies. Thus, consuming soy on a daily diet is certainly a good source of calcium required by your body. According to the studies, if you consume 100 grams of raw soy, you will be fetched with 350 mg of calcium, if you consume 1/2 cup of raw soy, you will get 434 mg of calcium out of it and if the soy product is fried for 1/2 cup, your body will get 1192 mg of calcium. Apart from fortified soy products (tofu) a great quantity of calcium is also present in another soy products such as non-fat soy milk with added calcium as well as vitamins A and D, unsweetened soy milk, etc.
2. Chinese Cabbage:
Authentically addressed as Pak Choi, Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage is yet another important source of calcium that fetches your body sufficient amount of calcium as required by it. Today, Indian markets have availed this kind of cabbage and therefore you can easily find it and consume it. Chinese cabbage can be consumed in many ways. You can cook it separately into various dishes or you can also add it in your salad and can eat it raw. Thus, whether cooked or eaten raw, Chinese cabbage is a very rich source of calcium. 100 grams of raw Chinese cabbage contains 105 mg of calcium, 1 cup or 70 grams of shredded Chinese cabbage contains 74 mg of calcium in it and 1 head or 840 grams of Chinese cabbage contains 882 mg of calcium in it. Another form of cabbage such as red cabbage as well as green cabbage also carries equal amount of calcium in it and therefore if your body is lacking calcium, consuming cabbage would be a good solution.
3. Low-Fat Milk and Yogurt:
Low-fat milk also considered as non-fat milk and yogurt are also a great source of calcium for the body. The advantage of consuming these products is that apart from providing good amount of calcium to your body, these products are also rich in various important nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals. Thus, consuming low-fat milk and yogurt is definitely not a bad idea if you are looking forward to gaining some levels of important nutrients for your body. You can consume the milk anytime in your breakfast or evening meals. Non-fat yogurt as well as no fat yogurt is also a good pick to provide calcium to your body. The yogurt is also good to your taste-buds and therefore you can consume it without giving any second thought. A 100 grams of low-fat milk or yogurt would fetch you 125 mg of calcium, whereas 1 cup of milk or yogurt will provide you 306 mg of calcium. If you consume milk or yogurt per fluid ounce (31 g), your body will get 39 mg of calcium. Thus, you can easily pick this product and can consume it whole-heartedly in order to gain calcium for your body.
4. Low Fat Cheese:
Now, you can get a good amount of calcium for your body by consuming this tasty dairy product. The low fat cheese, also addressed as mozzarella non-fat cheese is a good source of calcium. Apart from calcium, this cheese is also an amazing source of protein for your body. Thus, this food fetches you both- a good health as well as a good taste. Add it into different meals – pasta, sandwiches, gravy or eat it raw – this product is amazingly rich in calcium. 961 mg of calcium is found in 100 grams of low fat cheese, if you eat 1 cup of shredded cheese, you will gain 1086 mg of calcium which is quite a good deal. The amount of calcium found in 1 ounce of cheese goes upto 269 mg. Apart from low fat cheese, high amounts of calcium are also found in different varieties of cheese such as reduced fat parmesan cheese, low fat swiss cheese, fat free cheddar cheese, fat free American cheese, full fat (regular) swiss cheese, full fat regular cheddar cheese, whole milk regular mozzarella cheese, etc. Cheese is a good source of fat as well.
5. Dark Leafy Greens:
The dark leafy green veggie, especially watercress is the top source of calcium for the body of the adults. This natural vegetable is free from all kinds of adulteration or artificial substances and is an authentic source of calcium for the body. Apart from it, the dark leafy green vegetables are also a fair source of iron, vitamins, minerals, protein and various other important nutrients essential for the body. 100 grams of watercress when eaten raw provides your body 120 mg of calcium, the same when chopped and consumed for about a cup gives your body 41 mg of calcium. 10 sprigs of watercress provide 30 mg of calcium to the body. Other green leafy vegetables such as curly kale, turnip greens, dandelion greens, arugula and collards are equally healthy and rich in calcium.