We know that calcium is a very important mineral for health.

It is a fundamental component of bones and teeth and plays a crucial role in heart, muscle and nerve signaling .

The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is 1,000 mg per day for adults, although women over the age of 50, especially menopausal, and all people over the age of 70 must take some. 'more, about 1,200 mg per day, while children between the ages of 4 and 18 are advised to consume 1,300 mg.

However, a large percentage of the population does not meet their calcium needs through their diet.

Calcium deficiency is therefore very dangerous, and if sometimes it does not give particular symptoms , over time, disorders can arise such as: muscle cramps, drowsiness, bone fragility and osteoporosis and heart problems .

The main foods rich in calcium are dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt . This is why as soon as you discover that you are lactose intolerant , you worry about not getting enough. However, many non-dairy sources are also rich in this mineral, let's find out together.

1. Seeds

Some are high in calcium, including poppy, sesame, and chia seeds.

For example, one tablespoon of poppy seeds contains 126 mg of calcium, or 13% of the RDI.

Sesame seeds contain 9% of the RDI for calcium in just one tablespoon.

2. Canned sardines

Canned sardines are loaded with calcium, thanks to the consumption of their edible bones.

100g of sardines contain as much as 35% of the RDI.

These fatty fish also provide high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart, brain and skin.

Additionally, smaller fish such as sardines have low levels of mercury, a metal that typically accumulates in fatty fish. Finally, in addition to calcium they have high levels of selenium, a mineral that can prevent mercury toxicity.

3. Beans and lentils

Beans and lentils are rich in fiber, protein and micronutrients, including iron, zinc, folic acid, magnesium and potassium. Some strains also have decent amounts of calcium ranging from about 4 to 6% up to 24% of the RDI.

Research suggests, among other things, that beans may help reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. Almonds

Among all types of nuts, almonds are the ones that have the highest calcium content.

Almonds also provide fiber as well as fat and protein. In addition, they are an excellent source of magnesium, manganese and vitamin E.

Consuming them can help reduce blood pressure, body fat, and other risk factors for metabolic diseases.

5. Some green leafy vegetables

Leafy greens are incredibly healthy, and some are high in calcium. Among these, cabbage and spinach deserve particular attention. Unfortunately, some vegetables such as spinach are also rich in oxalates, compounds that bind calcium, making it unavailable to the body.

6. Soy

Soybeans are naturally high in calcium.

One cup of cooked soybeans provides 18.5% of the RDI.

The same goes for soy -based foods, such as tofu and tempeh. Calcium phosphate based tofu contains 350 mg per 100 grams.

7. Algae

Adding seaweed to your diet is another way to increase your calcium intake.

Wakame seaweed, a variety typically eaten raw, provides around 126mg, or 12% of the RDI per 100g.

Kelp, which can be eaten raw or dried, instead provides about 14% of the RDI.

Be careful not to exceed in their consumption, algae can contain high levels of heavy metals and iodine, which, although it is healthy, unfortunately, if taken in excess, it is not beneficial.

8. Some fruits

Some fruit varieties contain good amounts of calcium.

For example, raw figs provide 18 mg - or nearly 2% of the RDI - per fruit.

Oranges also contain around 48-65 mg, which is 5-7% of the RDI for medium-sized fruit, depending on the variety.

Finally we remember black currants, blackberries and raspberries.

In conclusion , we can therefore note that calcium is not exclusive to milk-derived products, but that it is possible to find valid alternatives in other foods as well.

Finally, let's not forget that on the market it is possible to buy fortified foods , or to whose preparation the mineral in question has been added.


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Dr.ssa Marina Putzolu

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