Calcium is good for our own bodies in more ways than we know. Yet what is even more important is that the calcium rich foods we do eat are also rich in other nutrients that are vital for calcium consumption. For example, did you ever notice that after the big milk campaign “Got Milk?” in the 1990s, the osteoporosis rates never really decreased. In fact, they got worse. How could this be so? Even with ingesting more calcium than usual, the osteoporosis rates have yet to see any progress toward a healthier public. How could this be?
The answer lies in our diet. First, your body needs other minerals such as silica, in order to fully digest protein. Not many sources provide this mineral in adequate amounts. Secondly, much of what we Americans eat today actually pulls calcium from our bones. This is perhaps the biggest reason that today’s calcium rich foods aren’t helping our osteoporosis rates. Sugar leaches minerals from your bones–including calcium. So if you are eating a sugary cereal with a cup of milk, chances are the calcium won’t do much good. So remember these two tips as we dive into the foods high in calcium that will help you get your daily dosage.
Dark, Leafy Greens
One of my absolutely favorite foods that have plenty of calcium in them are dark green leafy vegetables. Yes, these veggies are perhaps your best source of calcium available. So if you have a green smoothie for breakfast, a side salad with your sandwich for lunch, and steamed leafy vegetables such as kale for dinner, you can be confident that you are getting plenty of calcium in one day.
Another excellent source of calcium is plain yogurt. Please do not use flavored yogurt–it is full of sugar that, like we mentioned, will leach the calcium out of your bones. Instead, top your plain yogurt with a bit of honey and fresh berries. This makes a delightful breakfast or snack for anyone, while at the same time delivering a healthy dose of good calcium.
Soybeans also provide plenty of this important mineral. One interesting way to use soybeans is to make your own soymilk. Making your own soymilk at home is so much better than buying a carton from the store, again because you are able to control the sweetness and the sweetener used to make the milk. You can also use soybeans as a side dish by purchasing and steaming frozen edamame from your local grocery store. Either way, you can be confident that this vegetable will boost your family’s good calcium intake.
The biggest things to remember when trying to figure out a good way to include calcium in your diet are the two tips mentioned previously. First, be sure that your source of calcium is a source that has other minerals, too. Secondly, watch your sugar intake when you are trying to beef up the calcium. These two tips will help every serving of calcium count toward better health.