Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for a woman especially as you age and your bones start losing mass Taken in the right ratio with magnesium calcium also contributes to the health of tendons, the heart muscle and the nerves.
One of main benefits of eating calcium rich foods, especially for women, is that it can help prevent the development of osteoporosis. This is a condition where bones become porous as the result of aging. It is a silent disease that progresses slowly through the years with no symptoms. Over time all of the bones may become fragile but usually the hip, spine and wrist are especially affected.
Dairy products are the highest source of calcium with evaporated milk being the richest source at 675 mg per cup. One ounce of Parmesan cheese is a distant second at 390 mg of calcium. One cup of ordinary 1% milk has 297 mg of calcium per cup.
In the greens department, collards are the highest source of calcium at 357 mg per cup. Kale follows at 206 mg and 1 stalk of broccoli at 158 mg. Iceberg lettuce is the lowest source at 27 mg of calcium per cup.
A cheap and abundant source of calcium is canned fish. A three-ounce can of sardines contain 372 mg of calcium, which is, much more than a glass of milk.
There are also many treats that are loaded with calcium. For instance the reason pizza can be so healthy for you is because 1 ounce of Mozzarella cheese has 207 mg of calcium per ounce. Ordering your pizza with double cheese is not such a bad idea.
Another great source of calcium is nut. An ounce, which equals roughly a handful of almonds, has a whopping 307 mg of calcium. Hazelnuts are also a rich source at 240 mg an ounce. If you must buy your kids cookies, make sure they have nuts in them (unless of course your child has allergies!)
If you love soft ice cream then you will be glad to know that it is one of the riches sources of calcium clocking in at a delicious 237 mg of calcium per one cup serving. Regular hard ice cream is also a good source at 1276 mg per one cup serving.
Although the levels of calcium found in raw vegetables and fruits are much lower than other foods there are still some decent sources as long as you eat a lot of them. One of the richest sources is carrot. One medium carrot is 27 mg. Grapefruit is also a fairly rich source of calcium at 20 mg.
There is a lot of debate about whether you should take calcium supplements or not. Like any nutrient, calcium is best absorbed if it is eaten as a food. If you are going to take it as a supplement it is best to take coral calcium, which comes from a living source as opposed to calcium that is sourced from a quarry.
So to avoid becoming the incredible shrinking woman or man as you age, make sure you get as much calcium as you can from your diet!