October 30, 2021 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Calcium-Rich Foods and Why Do We Need It?
Calcium is one of the most abundant and essential macronutrients for our health. Calcium is vital for normal body movement, healthy bones, and proper maintenance of the nervous system. Still, why is it so important to add сalcium-rich foods to your diet?
The health of the skeleton, teeth, and nails depends on the sufficient supply of calcium, as it is the building material of the bone tissue. According to the National Institute of Health, at birth, our body contains about 26 to 30g of calcium. After birth this amount rises very quickly, reaching about 1,200g in women and 1,400g in men by adulthood. These levels remain constant in men, but they start to drop in women as a result of increase in bone remodeling due to decreased estrogen production at the start of menopause. 
You may find a variety of calcium foods at any grocery as well as at foodtolive.com. Tastes differ, so probably you might not like all the food rich in calcium. That’s why we put together a list of delicious ingredients that can serve as a great and natural source of calcium.
- Dairy products: Milk, Cheese (Cottage Cheese, Brie Cheese, Parmesan, Cheddar, Mozzarella, etc), Sour Cream, Yogurt, and Eggshell. Milk – a source of riboflavin aka B vitamin, necessary to convert food into energy. It also contains vitamin D which is essential for the good absorption of calcium in our body. As far as cheese is concerned, parmesan contains the most calcium content among all dairy products. 100 g of milk contains about 125 mg of calcium while 100 g of parmesan cheese contains more than the daily norm (1109 mg). Bear in mind, however, that cheese is a high-calorie product that contains a lot of fat. Therefore, it is better to eliminate other fatty foods from your diet to prevent gaining weight. Sour cream is also rich in calcium, it helps to strengthen bones, nails, and teeth. Moreover, it stimulates the appetite and regulates the stomach and intestines. Sour cream has a beneficial effect on the psycho-emotional state.Even though yogurt cannot make up for your daily calcium intake, it is still very beneficial. This product contains a complete protein, many vitamins of groups A and B, as well as phosphorus and magnesium. These components help the gastrointestinal tract to function and help prevent constipation. Further, one eggshell contains approximately 2 g of calcium, which actually exceeds the daily norm. Milled eggshell can be placed in a teaspoon and it weighs about 5g. Half a teaspoon of ground eggshell would be enough to cover the recommended daily amount of calcium.
- Seeds: Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Celery Seeds, and Poppy Seeds.
- Nuts: Almonds, Hazelnuts, and Brazil Nuts. Almonds are one of the best sources of calcium: 264 mg of calcium per 100 g of nuts. Don’t like almonds? Then try brazil nuts or hazelnuts.
- Beans: Pinto beans and Soybeans. Pinto beans are an excellent source of calcium and it has 80% more calcium than black beans – pinto beans have 63mg of calcium per 100 grams while black beans – 35mg.  Soybeans – another healthy vegan-friendly & calcium-rich product – a 0.5 cup of boiled soybeans contains 100 milligrams of calcium.
- Fruits & Dried fruit: Oranges, Dates, Dried Apricots, and Figs. Not only are oranges rich in Vitamin C but they also contain calcium, to be specific – one orange equals 70 mg of calcium. Dried figs are a great source of antioxidants and fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. In addition, 30 grams of figs will give your body 5% of the calcium content – more than all other dried fruits.
- Fish: Sardines, Shrimps, Salmon, and Tuna. Tinned sardines with skin and bones are completely edible and they are high in calcium: 382 mg per 100 g of product. They also contain 24.6 g of protein and 6.8 mcg of vitamin D (68% of the daily norm). Although the calcium in sardines is much less than in the sesame deeds, it will be better absorbed due to Vitamin D. Among seafood rich in calcium, shrimp score second – 100 g of shrimp is about 110 mg of calcium. Other seafood contains calcium but however not in such large quantities. Salmon and tuna contain high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart, brain, and skin.
Calcium Recommended Daily Intake
The recommended daily dosage of calcium depends on age. In the teenage years, we need more calcium because bones are growing rapidly; and we can also better absorb it. However, the body of the elderly is not able to absorb calcium as quickly as a teen. Therefore, seniors require higher amounts. According to the Recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the US, those aged 14-18 should consume at least 1300 mg of calcium per day, 19-50 years – 1000 mg, 51-70-year females – 1200, males – 1000, those over 70 years – 1200 mg. 
Who should take calcium and how
Lactose intolerant people would find it harder to get enough calcium from food because they eliminate daily products from their diet.
Note, however, that Calcium must enter the body along with a number of other vitamins and trace elements like vitamins C and D, lactose, and unsaturated fatty acids. Phosphorus, magnesium, and strontium promote the absorption of calcium. It is very important to get enough magnesium with food. The deficiency of this element leaches calcium from the bones and increases the likelihood of kidney stones and muscle deposits.
No harm at all
Both calcium deficiency and calcium excess (also known as hypercalcemia) are harmful. If the body suffers from calcium deficiency for a long time, it can cause permanent muscle cramps and osteoporosis.
Calcium excess is also harmful, as hypercalcemia can develop with subsequent calcification of bones and tissues. The urinary system most often suffers from calcification. If a person eats too much calcium for a long period, muscle and nerve function may be impaired, and zinc absorption by bone cells may be reduced. Hypercalcemia can be also triggered by excessive doses of vitamin D.
Do you feel like it’s hard to turn your neck, or to stretch? Maybe your body is just lacking calcium? Consult with your medical provider first, and then calcium-up your life!