- How much calcium does the body need
- What helps to absorb calcium
- 11 foods rich in calcium
- Sample menu
- Additional product list
The material was checked and commented by Alexandra Razarenova, nutritionist, nutritionist, therapist, member of the Russian Union of Nutritionists, Nutritionists and Food Industry Specialists.
How much calcium does the body need
98% of calcium is found in bones and teeth, but it is present inside the cell and in the extracellular fluid (blood serum). Serum calcium levels are independent of dietary fluctuations. As soon as this level decreases, the body immediately compensates for the loss from bone tissue. Thus, calcium deficiency can lead to the development of osteoporosis and other diseases .
Recommended daily calcium intake:
- 400 mg for infants 0–3 months;
- 500 mg for children 4-6 months;
- 600 mg for children 7-12 months;
- 800 mg for children 1-3 years old;
- 1100 mg for children 7-11 years old;
- 1200 mg for children and adolescents 11-18 years old;
- 1000 mg for adults 18–59 years old;
- 1200 mg over 60;
- 1300 mg for pregnant women and 1400 mg for nursing mothers.
What helps to absorb calcium
Most people are calcium deficient due to an imbalanced diet. It is not enough to eat foods rich in this element; for its assimilation, vitamins A, C, D and F, magnesium, phosphorus and protein are also needed , .
The main function of vitamin D is to aid the absorption of calcium . Many foods high in calcium are also rich in vitamin D.
Daily intake of vitamin D:
- 400 IU for children under 4 years old;
- 600 IU for children, adolescents and people under 70;
- 800 IU for people over 70.
Normal calcium absorption also depends on the amount of phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The recommended ratio of calcium and magnesium is 1: 0.5, and calcium and phosphorus is 1: 1.5 or 1: 2. The required amount of protein for assimilation of calcium is 1.2-1.6 g per 1 kg of body weight. Also, the absorption of calcium is affected by the health of the digestive system, so some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract interfere with the absorption of this element.
The main foods high in calcium are milk, cheese, and yogurt. But this mineral is found in many plant and animal products. Those who are lactose intolerant, don't like or don't eat dairy products can get calcium from seafood, vegetables, seeds and dried fruits .
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240 ml of whole cow's milk contains 276 mg of the beneficial mineral, and skim milk contains 352 mg. In the same portion of goat milk, calcium is even more - 327 mg.
Calcium in milk is well absorbed due to the high content of vitamin D - a natural product or specially added by the manufacturer. And milk is also a source of protein and vitamin A , , , .
Parmesan contains the most calcium - 330 mg or 33% of the daily value per 30 g of product. In other varieties, especially in soft cheeses, this element is less, from 2 to 5% of the required dose .
Cheese is rich in proteins, and aged hard varieties are low in lactose, so in small quantities they are suitable for people with milk sugar intolerance , . Cheese in the daily diet reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes . But you need to remember that fatty cheeses are high in calories and contain sodium (salt), so people suffering from hypertension and overweight should use them with caution.
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250 g of regular yogurt contains 30% of the daily intake of calcium, and fat-free yogurt contains 45%. Also yogurt contains phosphorus, potassium, vitamins B2 and B12 , . Greek yogurt, on the other hand, has twice as much protein as a regular product, but it contains less calcium.
Most types of yogurt are rich in probiotics, bacteria that are beneficial for digestion and intestinal microflora . In addition, studies have confirmed that people who regularly eat yogurt are less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes and heart disease .
4. Canned salmon and sardines
These canned foods contain a lot of calcium due to the edible fish bones. From a 100-gram portion of sardines, you can get 35% of the daily value of the element, and from the same amount of salmon - 21%. Fish in oil also contains many high quality proteins and omega-3 acids, which are beneficial for the heart, brain and skin , .
One of the negative properties of seafood is the presence of mercury. But in small fish it is less, and in sardines and salmon, in addition, there is a lot of selenium - a mineral that prevents the accumulation of mercury and reduces toxicity . Salmon also contains vitamin D, so one serving of fish can get an average of 32% of the daily value of the "sunshine vitamin".
5. Seeds, nuts and dried fruits
Unpeeled sesame, celery, and chia seeds work best. A tablespoon - 9 g of the product - contains 9% of the daily value of the mineral. In addition, seeds contain healthy fats, protein, copper, iron, and manganese .
From nuts, you should choose almonds - from 22 nuts you can get 8% of the required dose of calcium and 3 g of fiber. In addition, almonds are a source of healthy fats, protein, magnesium, manganese and vitamin E. Nuts in the daily diet help lower blood pressure, have a positive preventive effect on cholesterol metabolism, and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome .
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Figs contain more calcium than other dried fruits. A hundred-gram serving of dried figs contains on average 15% of the daily value of the element, as well as vitamin K, potassium, fiber and antioxidants .
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6. Beans and beans
The leader in the amount of calcium is green beans. 170 g of product provides 24% of the daily calcium intake. The same serving of white beans contains 13% of the daily value, while other types of beans contain 4-6%. 150 grams of edamame, a soybean commonly sold in pods, provides 10% of your daily calcium intake. It is also a good source of protein and a daily dose of folate. A 100-gram serving of tofu made with the addition of seawater provides 86% of the daily calcium intake , , .
Beans and beans are a source of fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium. Many plant-based diets benefit from legumes. Research shows that they help lower blood cholesterol levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes .
7. Green vegetables and herbs
Most of this mineral is found in cabbage (cabbage, savoy and keila) and spinach - 25% of the daily value in a two-hundred-gram serving of the product. Another beneficial plant source of calcium is rhubarb, which also contains vitamin K, fiber, and probiotics , .
Minus green vegetables and herbs in the presence of oxalates. These are organic acids, due to which the body can only absorb a quarter of the total calcium. But even in this case, 90 g of calcium can be obtained from 250 g of rhubarb .
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8. Cereals and grains
Some cereals contain 100% of the adult's daily calcium value of 1,000 mg. And this is without adding milk. But the body is not able to assimilate the daily dose of calcium immediately, so it is better to divide it into several portions , .
Some types of wheat and corn flour can be high in calcium. Information about the amount of this mineral is usually indicated on the labels of packages of bread, tortillas and crackers made from such flour.
A lot of calcium is found in amaranth (cat / fox tail), an ancient cereal crop imported from South America. A portion of a dish made with amaranth provides 12% of the daily value of calcium, and even more in the leaves of the plant - 28%. In addition, "Aztec wheat" is an excellent source of folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A and C , .
9. Plant milk and orange juice
Those who do not drink milk can get calcium from other drinks. Natural plant milk and orange juice have little calcium, which the body is able to assimilate, so many manufacturers enrich the product with this element. Fortified soy milk provides 30% of the daily value of the element, and orange juice provides 50%. In addition, soy milk contains 7% protein, which brings it closer to the characteristics of cow milk. In other fortified types of nut and plant milk, calcium levels can be higher , .
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10. Whey protein
A substance found in milk is an excellent source of calcium, protein and amino acids. 30 grams of whey protein powder contains 200 mg or 20% of the daily value of calcium. Studies have shown that diets high in whey protein help control blood sugar levels and also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome .
The shell consists of 90–95% calcium carbonate, so a useful food supplement is prepared from it. You can buy eggshell powder at the pharmacy or make your own. Eggs must be washed and boiled, peeled from the shells, and thoroughly chopped in a blender or coffee grinder. The finished powder is mixed with lemon juice or acid, the result is calcium citrate, a compound that is easily absorbed and suitable for children and the elderly. The daily rate is a teaspoon of the mixture.
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Menu for every day
To get the right amount of calcium, you can turn on the menu :
- high calcium flakes;
- a glass of orange juice or milk;
- whole grain bread sandwich with cheese and spinach;
- cream soup;
- baked salmon;
- baked potato;
- peanut cookies;
Additional product list
- Meat: poultry, lamb, veal, rabbit.
- Dairy products: kefir, sour cream, cottage cheese.
- Seeds and nuts: hazel, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts.
- Fish and seafood: anchovies, crabs, shrimps, cod, trout.
- Vegetables and herbs: basil, dill, broccoli, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers.
- Berries: currants, raspberries, grapes.
- Fruits and dried fruits: dried apricots, raisins, oranges, apples, melon.
Alexandra Razarenova, nutritionist, nutritionist, therapist: “In addition to enriching the diet with foods with a high calcium content, it is also worth paying special attention to factors that provoke its more active release or reduce its bioavailability. These include:
- excessive consumption of foods rich in oxalates, phytic acids, coffee;
- taking medications or dietary supplements that lower the acidity of the stomach, as the acidic environment promotes better absorption of calcium. As well as medicines that reduce the absorption of calcium (for example, glucocorticosteroids);
- excessive use of salt and products containing it. With excess sodium intake, the body is forced to excrete it in urine, along with which calcium is excreted;
- an excess of animal protein;
- chronic inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, conditions after surgery;
- lack of vitamin D.
However, excessive intake of calcium may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and prostate cancer, so if you need to take calcium supplements, you need to consult a specialist to assess how much calcium you get from your diet, and also determine which calcium supplements are right for you. " …