Non-diary Food Sources of Calcium - Funmbi Oo - Nutrition, Diet, Health Care, Weight Loss and more

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Contrary to popular belief, dairy products are far from being the only source of calcium. The age old notion that a glass of milk each day will promote strong bones and help to prevent osteoporosis is certainly not the best practice. The best sources of calcium come directly from the earth. Even Scripture shows us in Genesis 1:29 that the natural approach is an excellent way to increase your consumption of calcium.

Over the years, researchers have explained that there are plenty of calcium sources to be found in a plant-based diet. Many traditional cultures consume very few dairy products and generally do not eat more than 500 milligrams of calcium per day, yet still see minimal instances of osteoporosis. Moreover, it has been shown that calcium does not impact osteoporosis as much as other factors such as healthy eating and exercise.

Vegetables are an adequate source of calcium, specifically dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and pumpkin leaves (ugwu). Eating orange-colored vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots is also an easy way of consuming calcium.

Here is the calcium content for some of the above-mentioned vegetables, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service:
  • 1 cup raw broccoli, chopped = 43 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup raw carrots, chopped = 42 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup okra, cooked = 100 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup spinach, cooked = 240 mg of calcium.
These raw and cooked vegetables are far from the only vegetable sources of calcium that you can add to your diet. The cooked options, such as okra, provide a great opportunity for inclusions into children meals for a good supply of calcium.

Fresh, raw fruits are a good source of calcium as well. There are several fruits in particular that provide high amounts of calcium such as the oranges, figs, kiwi and raisins. The calcium levels for each according to the USDA are as follows:
  • 10 dried figs: 140 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup orange = 60 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup kiwi = 50 mg of calcium
However, it is important to remember not to overindulge your fruit intake especially if you are watching your sugar intake. Fruits are an essential part of our diet but should be consumed in moderation unless prescribed otherwise.

With a long list of calcium-rich sources, legumes may just be one of the most extensive sources of this important mineral. Getting calcium from plant-based sources, specifically from beans, helps enhance the building and strengthening of bones. Soya beans, navy beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black turtle beans and chickpeas are just a few of the many legumes suggested for a healthy balanced diet.

Here are the levels of calcium in these commonly enjoyed nutritious legumes according to the USDA:
  • 1 cup red kidney beans cooked without salt = 78 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup white beans cooked without salt = 161 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup navy beans, mature seeds, raw = 306 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup soya beans, boiled = 100 mg of calcium.
  • 1 cup chickpeas, mature seeds, raw = 114 mg of calcium.
Accompanied with exercise, consuming these plant-based sources of calcium is a beneficial way to help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis.

It's not just calcium that is important but the proper absorption of calcium as well. If you're looking for a way to promote bone and heart health as well as the metabolism of calcium throughout your body, then it is important to consume foods rich in vitamin D as well as vitamin D supplements. Some of such foods include eggs, spinach, orange juice, fish like salmon, tuna, etc. This synergistic combination supports strong bones, cardiovascular health and vitamin D3 enhances and increases the absorption of calcium, hence guiding the body in depositing the calcium the right way.

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