Tired of your mom trying to make you drink milk? Fret not, just tell her that she need not worry about your calcium deficiency because you have it all covered! You must be already aware that your body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. Your body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. So, incorporate this list of non-dairy items into your diet and leave all your worries behind.
TC46 connected with Cure.Fit Health Coach Manasa Rajan to explain the need of calcium for women and children. She also suggests various other sources of calcium that do not include dairy.
Manasa says, “Calcium is essential for our health and well being, for maintaining bone health and teeth, also the functioning of nerves and muscle tissue! There are many plant-based sources of calcium and magnesium that are more bioavailable to us, meaning our digestive system can break down and absorb the calcium in these sources far more efficiently. Foods like sesame seeds have ten times more Calcium than milk. Dark green leafy veggies are a rich source, beans and lentils like rajma, chickpeas, dals are all great sources of minerals, fruits like dates, figs. And it is even more relevant to include a more diverse source of minerals and nutrients in every meal, rather than focus on drinking a certain number of glasses of milk.”
Causes Of Calcium Deficiency
Many people are at an increased risk for calcium deficiency as they age. This deficiency may be due to a variety of factors, including:
- Poor calcium intake over a long period of time, especially in childhood
- Medications that may decrease calcium absorption
- Dietary intolerance to foods rich in calcium
- Hormonal changes, especially in women
- Certain genetic factors
Signs That One Has A Calcium Deficiency
- Muscle aches, cramps, and spasms
- Extreme fatigue
- Dental problems
- Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, and legs, as well as around the mouth
- Convulsions or uncontrollable muscle contractions
- Arrhythmias (problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat)
- Weak, brittle nails
- Weak bones, easy fractures
Well, as a species, we are the only ones to drink the milk of another animal! It is unheard of, in nature. Yet all species fulfil their calcium or growth requirement! But let me throw another fact at you; the countries with the most dairy consumption per capita, also have the most incidence of hip fractures in seniors. So, in short, more calcium content in a food is not directly correlated to creating better calcium absorption or improved health! – Cure.Fit Health Coach Manasa Rajan
Boost Your Calcium Levels With 10 Non-Dairy Sources
1. Beans & Lentils
Garbanzo or chickpea, kidney, navy and even canned baked beans provide calcium; boiled green soybeans are another good option that you should definitely incorporate into your diet. Lentils are also high in fibre, protein and micronutrients.
This is a sweet dessert-like fruit loaded with fibre and potassium. With whopping calcium levels, this sticky fruit helps in strengthening your bones. It is also loaded with magnesium, this fruit helps in keeping the heartbeat steady and maintaining muscle function. It stands in a strong position in the list of foods rich in calcium.
3. Oranges & Other Fruits
You know oranges help in boosting our immune system. And this magical fruit is also on the list of high calcium foods with vitamin D, which is crucial for the absorption of calcium in the body. You should also add papaya, tangerines, kiwi, mulberries, and guava to your diet.
4. Sweet Potatoes
One large sweet potato can contain up to 68 mg of calcium. also rich in potassium and vitamins A and C that may promote good eyesight, resistance to the effects of ageing, and cancer prevention. Sweet potatoes are naturally low in fat and calories. They are popular as a side dish in some parts of the world.
5. Soy Milk
It’s a myth that only dairy products contain calcium. Non-dairy products like fortified soy milk can be amazing high calcium foods and provide both calcium and vitamin D. You can also give rice milk a try.
6. Spinach & Other Leafy Vegetables
High in dietary fibre, green leafy vegetables are one of the high calcium foods. With a number of options like spinach, kale, celery and broccoli, these veggies are also rich in potassium and magnesium. Also eat vegetables like cooked broccoli, Chinese cabbage, edamame, and acorn squash.
7. Fortified Cereals
Many popular ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and English muffins come with a healthy dose of added calcium. Ensure to read the label for calcium and other nutrient levels.
Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses. Some are high in calcium, including poppy, sesame, celery, and chia seeds. You can also add sunflower seeds to your diet as they are rich in calcium and magnesium.
9. Almonds & Other Nuts
Of all nuts, almonds are among the highest in calcium levels. In addition, they’re an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E. Eating nuts may help lower blood pressure, body fat, and other risk factors for metabolic disease
Listed in foods rich in calcium, Sardines are a great option. If you are a non-vegetarian, it is just what you need. These little salty fishes can add an amazing umami flavour to pasta and salads.
While bone health might take the centre stage when it comes to calcium, almost every cell in your body needs calcium to thrive. Therefore, there are no excuses if you don’t indulge in dairy to avoid other potential sources. There are plenty of other options out there that’ll help keep your calcium levels topped off.