5 Tips for Getting Enough Calcium in Your Diet

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As you age, calcium intake becomes more important because it can ward off osteoporosis and other issues with bone density. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get calcium in your diet, and you may consider daily supplements as the only alternative. Before purchasing supplements, consider these tips getting enough calcium in your diet.

(1) Dairy
Everyone knows dairy products are great sources of calcium so it is the logical place to start when considering how to increase calcium intake. When perusing the great variety of milks, yogurts, and cheeses (lactose free and traditional) at your grocery store, be aware that not all are calcium-dense. According to FitDay, dairy milk contains a higher amount of calcium than other alternatives. The other products could be fortified with calcium so it is important to read the labels on the milk products (and all products) to understand the nutritional value of them.

(2) Seeds
If you are lactose intolerant or on a restricted diet that does not allow dairy, adding seeds to foods and smoothies is an easy way to get calcium. Mindbody suggests adding celery, sesame, flax, and chia seeds to soups, stir fry dishes, cereals, or desserts.

(3) Edamame
Instead of munching on popcorn while watching a movie, substitute edamame. Edamame is available in the frozen section of your grocery store, and one serving (1 1/2 cups) contains more calcium than in a cup of milk.

(4) Leafy green vegetables
You may not know it, but a raw salad with leafy greens (spinach, collared greens, kale, and some lettuce varieties) is a calcium-rich snack or appetizer.

(5) Canned fishes
AARP suggests that good calcium sources do not need to be reserved to the dairy, frozen, and produce sections of your grocery store. Canned sardines and salmon are also excellent sources.

Of course, the foods listed above do not need to be consumed in isolation. There are plenty of recipes that use all or some of the ingredients above. Salads containing canned fish, cheese, leafy green vegetables, edamame, and a dressing made with sesame seeds offer the nutritional benefits of all the calcium-rich foods listed here. If you prefer to drink your calcium, fresh kale is a great staple in smoothies. Mixed with bananas, pineapples, and oranges, a kale smoothie absorbs the sweetness of the fruits. Take advantage of all these options and use supplements only as a last resort.

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