“Drink milk because it contains calcium .” How many times have we heard this phrase? From an early age, we have learned that it is good for our bones and makes us grow “healthy and strong.”
Yes, dairy products indeed contain an excellent amount of calcium, but it is not guaranteed that this will be absorbed at the bone level; in fact, the exact opposite happens very often.
The absorption of calcium and other minerals is also dictated by essential vitamins (Vit. C, D, K) and other fundamental constituents. Furthermore, a diet rich in dairy products leads to organic acidosis, which gives several unpleasant symptoms but above all causes the body to release basic ions to buffer excess acidity.
These ions are, in particular, calcium, magnesium, and potassium and come from our bone structure, so as you can deduce, an excess of cheese and the like instead of replenishing our bones impoverishes them.
For lactose-intolerant folks, vegans, or those who simply don’t like milk..
Here is a list of 10 vegetables rich in calcium:
- Cime di rapa
- Chickpeas (Legume)
- White beans (Legume)
Cabbage is an excellent vegetable to introduce more calcium to our body. It produces calcium, Vitamin K, and antioxidants which are also crucial for the whole body.
Cabbages are also particularly rich in phenols that have the incredible ability to fight cancer and reduce heart disease. This food is ductile as you can consume it in various ways: steamed, boiled, and even raw in the centrifuge.
(232mg of calcium per 100g of raw cabbage – 141mg of calcium per 100g of cooked cabbage)
A plate of spinach or steamed spinach salad is an excellent source of calcium. If you then season them with lemon, calcium absorption will even be further conveyed by vitamin C.
Spinach is essential for the health of the cardiovascular system as it lowers blood pressure, improving arterial stiffness thanks to its nitrate content.
(136mg of calcium per 100g of cooked spinach – 99mg of calcium per 100g of raw spinach)
In addition to being low in calories, Tofu is an excellent protein food, and depending on how it is processed, it can contain more significant quantities of calcium or magnesium. Tofu can be eaten in many different ways.
(350 mg of calcium per 100 g)
With a shape similar to that of chili pepper, this nice vegetable is very rich in fiber and vitamin B6. One cup of Okra can contain up to 82 milligrams of calcium. It is also a source of folic acid, which is helpful for pregnant women.
It is common in Africa, India, South America, and the Middle East. It belongs to the same family as the mallow, hibiscus, and cotton plant. You can try eating Okra when it is fried or stewed.
Raw broccoli contains about 400mg of calcium for every 100g. However, it is not recommended to eat it this way, as it decreases the efficiency of the thyroid, which can lead to hypothyroidism.
Thus, it would be best if you cooked it to eat, which generates a loss of approximately 70% of the initial amount of calcium in the food. But still, it is worth considering broccoli as a good source of calcium.
6. Edamame [soy beans]
Common in China and Japan, soybeans are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also an excellent source of protein (11 g per 100 of the product).
That’s not all: a cup of cooked edamame contains about 98 milligrams of calcium. They are usually cooked, boiled or steamed, for a few minutes and eaten alone or in soups and salads.
7. Cime di Rapa
The turnip greens are a typical Italian vegetable. They are rich in minerals, especially calcium, but also contain many vitamins. They can meet at least half of our daily vitamin C requirements and are a great source of vitamin A.
Kale can be called a “superfood” because it has it all: one serving can contain 101 milligrams of calcium. It can provide the entire daily requirement of vitamin C and half of the recommended vitamin A requirement. It also contains vitamin K, a nutrient that keeps pressure under control and promotes blood clotting.
I know what you’re thinking, these are beans not vegetables??? However, they are part of the legume family which technically counts as a sub-group of vegetables.
Regardless of the technicalities, of the foods with calcium, chickpeas are one of the best for relieving stress and fighting depression. In addition to having 120mg of calcium per 100g, this food also contains tryptophan. This amino acid contributes to the production of serotonin, which is responsible for the sensation of pleasure and well-being.
Besides, it is rich in zinc, vitamin E, iron, and fiber, which help in the health and proper functioning of the intestine. These and other aspects cause some people even to replace beans with chickpeas.
10. White Beans
Sticking with sub-groups for a moment, white beans are excellent allies for our diet: they are rich in fiber, protein, and iron and are excellent potassium sources.
They also contain a particular type of carbohydrate that improves metabolism. As if that isn’t enough, they are a source of calcium for our body: half a cup of cooked white beans contains 63 milligrams of calcium.
For better use of the mineral, it is necessary to soak the grains in room temperature water for about 8 hours. After this period, discard the water and cook it.
This soaking period is necessary to eliminate much of the phytic acid, which is a compound present in beans, which impairs the absorption of certain minerals, such as calcium, iron, and zinc.
Bonus Calcium-Rich Foods
Here are a few more foods that are packed with calcium that are part of a healthy diet.
Almonds are good for our bodies. They contain 12% of the daily requirement of protein and are rich in vitamin E and potassium. They are indeed “fat,” but the fats they have are the “good” ones that help lower cholesterol levels (of course, if you eat in moderation). In addition to this, they are rich in calcium: 23 almonds contain about 45 milligrams of calcium.
Often used to add an extra touch of flavor to pasta or salads, sardines are rich in calcium: 351 milligrams for a can.
They are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is essential for keeping the brain and nervous system healthy. They also contain vitamin D, which is good for the bones and is hardly found in food.
Half a can of salmon can contain 232 milligrams of calcium and provide 44% of the daily requirement of this mineral. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein.
4. Orange fruit
It is known to contain vitamin C. But not only that. Few people know that the orange is a large calcium store: a large enough fruit contains about 74 milligrams and a more minor one 27 milligrams. In addition to being low in calories, oranges also have antioxidant properties.
5. Sesame seeds
This is one of the foods with calcium where there is the highest concentration of the mineral. There is about 825mg of calcium for every 100g of the product.
This amount is even more significant than that found in sheep’s milk (193.4mg per 100g), ordinary milk (125mg per 100g), and Tofu (683mg per 100g), which is the second food with the highest concentration of calcium.
You can also consume Sesame in the form of tahini, which is a paste widely used in Arab cuisine which concentrates a good amount of calcium.
There are three types of sesame seeds: white, brown, and black. Of these, the richest in calcium mineral is black.
Intake of calcium-rich foods is essential to keep bones strong and prevent the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis. The nutrient still protects the body against the development of cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.
These are some of the possibilities you have to introduce calcium into your body if you want to approach a vegan diet and are afraid of not getting enough calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, or if you don’t like cheese and milk.
For more, don’t miss 15 Best Substitutes for Milk in Mac and Cheese.
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