It’s common knowledge that calcium is good for your bones and prevents osteoporosis. We’ve also all been told that that dairy is rich in this essential mineral.
We’re not here to discount any of these facts, but rather to expand on them a little…
The role calcium plays
In order to circulate blood, move our muscles, and release hormones, our body requires calcium. It also helps carry messages from the brain to other parts of the body. And of course, this essential mineral is crucial to the health of our teeth and bones; it ensures strength and density in these areas. Your body needs calcium so badly that if it doesn’t get enough from your diet, it will take what it needs from your bones. So, we need to make sure we are consuming enough calcium so that we can “top up” our reserve, so to speak.
Also, one lesser-known but very important fact is that calcium works in conjunction with vitamin D – without D, C can’t be fully absorbed. Our skin does absorb vitamin D from sun exposure. However, darker skin doesn’t absorb it as well. In addition to sun exposure (also remember spf always!), it is recommended to eat vitamin D rich foods such as salmon, eggs yolks, and some mushrooms; supplements are also very commonly recommended by health professionals.
Getting our calcium
Our bodies don’t produce calcium on their own. So, a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods is the key to getting enough! Here are some foods that are high in calcium:
- dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- dark green vegetables such as a kale, spinach, and broccoli
- white beans
- calcium-fortified breads, cereals, soy products, and orange juices
There are many other foods that offer a decent amount of calcium as well – for most of us, it is quite attainable to consume enough calcium for our bodies’ needs through food. Here is a list of how much calcium is in a number of other foods. Oh and no, you do not need to eat dairy products to get enough calcium; being vegan or lactose intolerant will not get in your way!