The mineral calcium is extremely important. For example, it ensures that your bones and teeth stay firm, but also has all kinds of other functions. It is therefore important to get enough of it, so that you can prevent a calcium deficiency!
As you probably know, milk is an important source of calcium. But there is much more calcium-rich food to choose from! In this article we discuss why calcium is so healthy and how you can get enough of it.
What is calcium?
Calcium has multiple functions in the body. The most important of these – and the function that most people know – is the maintenance of bone tissue in your body. Calcium ensures that your bones and teeth develop well and remain strong, even at a later age. It therefore prevents, for example, bone loss in the elderly.
You also need calcium to keep your nerves and muscles functioning properly. It also helps to make the blood clot when you have a wound, and it is essential for the transport of all kinds of other essential minerals in the body. An important substance, in other words!
Calcium deficiency causes
Yet many people are deficient in calcium. This may be because you simply do not eat enough calcium-rich food, and in that case you need your diet a good look at . However, other causes may also play a role.
For example, vitamin D stimulates the absorption of calcium, and a vitamin D deficiency can therefore indirectly cause a calcium deficiency in the body. Furthermore, salt , alcohol and caffeine have a moisture-withdrawing effect. As a result, you excrete more calcium through your urine than normal, so you are left with a calcium deficiency.
Calcium deficiency symptoms
If you eat too little calcium-rich food, your bones in particular will suffer. In the long term, a calcium deficiency leads to bone loss, making the bones brittle and breaking faster. Certainly in the elderly, who are less able to absorb calcium anyway, this is a common problem.
In young children, an extreme deficiency can further cause skeletal deformation or incomplete bone formation. A common misunderstanding is that white spots on the nails are a symptom of a calcium deficiency, but that is not the case. These spots usually have to do with damage to the nail bed, which is not harmful to health.
There are almost no other symptoms, but sometimes due to a calcium deficiency you may suffer from forgetfulness, muscle cramps or weakness and cardiac arrhythmias. It is therefore extremely important to always ensure that your calcium intake is in order. Unfortunately, you cannot reverse bone decalcification!
How much calcium per day?
How much calcium do you need now to prevent shortages? The Nutrition Center recommends a minimum of 1000 mg per day. Certainly for the elderly, it is advisable to sit a little bit above that.
On the other hand, you should not exaggerate. With more than 2500 mg you run the risk of a surplus. Too much calcium can lead to kidney stones and blood vessels calcification.
Calcium-rich diet list
But how do you ensure that you indeed eat enough calcium-rich food? You don’t have to skip liters of milk for that – the following products on the list also help you to get enough.
Obviously the number 1 on every list of calcium-rich foods. Skimmed milk contains relatively more calcium per calorie, which can be useful if you do not want to get too much energy from your drink. An additional advantage is that dairy is also rich in proteins !
Also, cheese is an excellent supplier of calcium and can vary much more with it. So choose not only for the fat cheese that you put on your bread , but also consider, for example, cottage cheese for your salad.
There are different vegetables that contain a relatively large amount of calcium, but broccoli is one of the best and most loved suppliers. By steaming it instead of cooking, more of the vitamins are preserved.
In fact, almost all coal is top when it comes to calcium, but kale is doing exceptionally well. Green cabbage is also a good source of calcium. Delicious in many Asian dishes, but also in salads, for example!
Too much soy is probably not very healthy, but it doesn’t hurt to include tofu in your food now and then . In addition to healthy proteins, it also contains a lot of calcium. There is also calcium in tempeh , but the percentage is slightly lower.
Of the different nuts , almonds are mainly known as a calcium-rich diet. However, that does not mean that the rest is not suitable for getting more of this mineral: hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios and walnuts , for example, are also good sources of calcium.
Countless spices contain a relatively large amount of calcium, although you only use them in small quantities: dried peppers, cinnamon , cumin, curry, cloves … So don’t hesitate to flavor your food enthusiastically – herbs and spices are extremely healthy!