Everyone, at some point in their childhood, has been at the receiving end of the “Why is calcium important?” speech and for good reason. Kids never understand the importance of calcium. However, sooner or later, we all realise how important those sermons were. Calcium is one of the most important minerals. Apart from helping in the formation of strong bones, nails, and teeth, calcium serves as an important factor in muscle and nerve movements and also enhances the enzymatic and hormonal secretions in the body.
How Is Calcium Deficiency Harmful?
Calcium deficiency leads to limited muscular movement, convulsions, lethargy, and loss of appetite. On the other hand, excess calcium in our diets can lead to kidney stones. Hence, there needs to be a balance in the amount of calcium intake in the bodies.
How Important Is Calcium?
Since our bodies do not produce calcium, it needs to be included in our diet plan. Apart from the aforesaid uses, calcium serves a number of other functions.
- Calcium can lead to weight loss. Instead of letting fat get stored up in the body, calcium helps in burning fat which in turn keeps you fit.
- Calcium is important for women since its deficiency may lead to severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Calcium keeps the heart healthy and in turn, reduces the chances of heart strokes and attacks.
Calcium Rich Food Items
- Ladies’ finger
Ladies’ fingers, when cooked properly, can give you at least 170 milligrams of calcium. Combining this vegetable as a side dish to your meals will increase the nutritional value.
These nuts are a rich source of calcium. Increase the nutritional value of any dish by cooking it with almonds, or just toss them in your mouth every morning. 100 grams of almonds contains around 260 milligrams of calcium.
Include oranges in a delicious fruit salad or enjoy the sweet fruit in lazy afternoons. Consuming one orange can provide 50 milligrams of calcium to your body.
- Spinach Leaves
It is impossible to chart out a healthy dietary plan without including some green veggies in it. Spinach can be incorporated in curries, salads, and even soups. A small bowl of cooked spinach has around 250 milligrams of calcium. So do not crib anymore and gulp it down if you want to be as strong as “Popeye: The Sailor Man”!
- Sesame Seeds
Roast sesame seeds and sprinkle them over meat dishes, or combine them with vegetables. These seeds have a unique taste and are generally used as a coating for a number of snacks. Being a rich source of calcium, half a cup of sesame seeds provides around 500 milligrams of calcium.
Be it strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries, they all are good sources of calcium. You can easily include them in your fruit salad or pop them individually in your mouth from time to time. Out of these three, blackberries are the richest source of calcium.
- Milk and Other Dairy Products
Milk – the first example of calcium rich food that everyone learned while in primary school. It is not just milk which is a rich source of calcium. Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and butter are also providers of calcium. However, make sure to switch to low-fat dairy products in order to get the best of calcium.
So, how do you plan to include these calcium rich foods in your diet? Innovate new ways and get fit!