Calcium is an essential mineral that is required for many important bodily functions. It is needed for the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, and it also plays a crucial role in muscle function, nerve signaling, and blood clotting. Calcium is particularly important during childhood and adolescence, when bones are growing rapidly. If children do not get enough calcium during this period, they may not reach their full bone mass potential, which can lead to a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. In addition, calcium intake is important throughout adulthood to help maintain bone strength and prevent osteoporosis, which is a condition that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. Calcium is especially important for women, who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis after menopause. Here are some of the best calcium rich foods in India.
Top 10 Calcium Rich Foods
- Low-fat Milk and Yogurt: Low-fat milk and yogurt are some of the healthiest sources of calcium. Just one cup of low-fat milk contains around 300 mg of calcium, while one cup of low-fat yogurt contains around 415 mg of calcium.
- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are a great source of calcium, with 975 mg (98% DV) of calcium per 100 grams. They are also rich in other nutrients like copper, manganese and magnesium, which is why they are highly recommended in Ayurvedic literature. Chia seeds, mustard seeds and flax seeds are also rich in calcium and offer a range of health benefits.
- Soya and Soy Products: Fortified soy products like tofu are a great source of calcium. They contain 350 mg (35% DV) of calcium per 100 grams.
- Almonds: Almonds are a great source of calcium, with 264 mg (26% DV) of calcium per 100 grams. They are also rich in other nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and fiber that can help with weight loss, skin health and lots more.
- Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens like spinach, methi, amaranthus and kale are some of the healthiest calcium rich foods for vegetarians. Spinach is particularly noteworthy, with a single 100 gm serving of the leafy green providing 99 mg of calcium (10%DV). Leafy greens are also rich in other nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A and iron.
- Fortified Plant-based Milk: Plant-based milks are not only a great alternative to dairy for vegans or anyone with lactose intolerance, but some plant-based milks such as almond, soy, pea and flaxseed milk actually contain more calcium than dairy milk.
- Oranges: Calcium rich food for bones can also include fruits, with oranges being an especially good source of calcium. A 100 gm serving of orange will give 43 mg (4% DV) of calcium. Oranges are also rich in other nutrients like vitamin C and fiber. In addition to oranges, pears, kiwis and berries are good sources of calcium.
- Raagi: Raagi or nachni can be used to make traditional breads or porridge and it’s the most inexpensive source of some complex nutrition, including calcium. This is also one of the best calcium rich foods for vegetarians as it contains protein, while its polyphenol and dietary fiber offers numerous health benefits.
- Beans and Lentils: This can include chickpeas, white beans, kidney beans and lentils they are all good sources of calcium and also tend to be nutritionally complex and contain minerals such as zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium and folate.
- Figs: Figs are a great source of calcium, with 35 mg (3% DV) of calcium per 100 grams. They are also rich in other nutrients like fiber and potassium, making them heart healthy.
It’s important to note that the amount of calcium can vary depending on the source, so it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional about individual needs to ensure one is getting enough calcium in the diet.