Osteoporosis is a bone disease estimated to affect about 200 million women across the globe. It contributes to nearly 8.9 million fractures annually, leading to osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. Research suggested that 29% of Indian women aged between 30-60 years belonging to the low-income groups suffer. In 2013, nearly 50 million Indians had either low bone mass or were osteoporotic.
Osteoporosis is characterized by decreased bone mass and modification in bone architecture. The increase in the prevalence of osteoporosis is due to low calcium intake, vitamin D deficiency, sex inequality, genetic predisposition, lack of diagnostic facilities, early menopause, and poor understanding of bone health.
Currently, there is no cure available for osteoporosis. The treatment method mainly aims to reduce the incidence of fractures and strengthen the bones by adopting certain lifestyle changes. These changes involve increasing the intake of calcium and vitamin D.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium; it is a no-brainer. However, some individuals cannot have milk because they are lactose intolerant or don’t like the taste of milk. But the good news for such people is that there are other excellent sources of calcium that will help strengthen the bones. This article lists out the 14 good sources of calcium.
Sesame and flax seeds:
- Approximately 351mg of calcium is present in a quarter cup of sesame seeds, whereas, about 255mg calcium is found in 100g of flax seeds.
- Though small in size, sesame seeds are packed with a good amount of calcium. Sesame seeds are also a good source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin-B.
- Nearly 126 mg of calcium is found in two tablespoons of raw tahini. Tahini is a butter, or a paste made from the ground, hulled, and toasted sesame seeds.
- But this food must be consumed with caution as it has high fat content.
- Around 137 mg of calcium is present in one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. It is a byproduct of the refining process of sugarcane.
- The less sweet, thick and dark variety also contains other minerals, like potassium and iron.
- About 124 mg of calcium is present in two cups of boiled broccoli.
- It is considered a nutritional powerhouse as it contains various minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamins E and C.
Green leafy vegetables:
- Leafy dark green vegetables are good sources of calcium.
- About 99mg, 232mg, 51mg, 150mg, 168mg of calcium is found per 100g of spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, and kelp, respectively.
- Although spinach is a rich source of calcium, it should not be consumed as the main source of calcium because it contains oxalic acid that reduces the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- Eat foods containing vitamin C to enhance the absorption of calcium and other minerals present in spinach.
- Approximately 90 mg of calcium is found in two ounces or 12 Brazil nuts.
- These nuts are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fibre.
- Nearly 81 mg of calcium is present in two cups of raw celery.
- Also, it is a good source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and manganese.
- About 75 mg of calcium is found in one ounce or 23 nuts of almonds.
- Compared to other nuts, almonds contain the highest amount of calcium, and they are rich sources of folic acid, fibre, potassium, magnesium, and protein.
- Nearly 73 mg of calcium is present in one medium-sized papaya. It is also rich in proteins and vitamin C.
- Approximately 52 mg of calcium is found in one medium-sized orange. It is a well-known source of vitamin C.
- About 100 mg of calcium is present in figs.
- They also have a high amount of magnesium, iron, phosphorous and potassium.
- This fish, with or without bones, is an excellent source of calcium.
- It also has a good amount of omega-3 fats and proteins.
- Almost 277mg of calcium is found in soybeans. They are also high in protein, iron, and healthy fats.
- Around 350mg of calcium is present in 100g of tofu. It is also a good source of healthy fats, protein, magnesium, and iron.
The fractures in patients with osteoporosis can be debilitating. Thus, it is necessary to maintain healthy and strong bones, not only in osteoporosis patients but also in the elderly to reduce the risk of falls and various bone-related diseases. Include the sources of calcium mentioned above in your diet to fight osteoporosis and live a healthy life.