6 Calcium-Rich Foods to Maintain Bone Density
It's normal to lose bone density as we age. Osteoporosis, a common disease that affects many older adults, occurs as a result of a decrease in calcium in bones and teeth. Calcium reabsorbs old bone and creates new bone; it also serves a vital role in overall health as it helps nerves carry messages between the brain and every other part of the body. To keep your bones strong, add these six foods to your diet.
These tree nuts pack a powerful nutritious punch. Not only do almonds contain nearly 200 mg of the recommended daily dose of calcium, they also deliver a whole host of nutrients—fiber, manganese, vitamin E, to name a few—that help build a healthy lifestyle.
Enjoy a handful as a quick snack, but if you're craving something a bit sweeter, try this gluten-free almond cake.
Sardines can be eaten as is, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar, or tossed with tomatoes, onion, and fennel for a quick salad. Get a double dose of calcium by adding chopped sardines to fresh kale.
A member of the mulberry family, figs are an interesting fruit: smooth, sweet, and crunchy. Plus, they come in a variety of forms, including Adriatic, Turkish, and Mission. They contain over 240 mg of calcium per cup so when you add them to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you'll get the calcium you need along with other nutrients such as fiber and potassium.
White beans, a low glycemic food, contain 191 mg of calcium per cup, which is more than 10% of your recommended daily amount. Even more, they're rich in protein and fiber. So as with almonds, white beans contribute to a healthy diet, which when sustained ensures that your body can maintain bone density.
You can easily toss white beans into a salad, stir a handful into soups and stews, or add it to a side dish.
One of the best sources of calcium is dark, leafy greens such as spinach and collard greens. One cup of spinach will provide you with nearly 30 mg of calcium. And a cup of collard greens offers over 260 mg, which is nearly 30% of the daily recommended intake.
To get your fill, add a few spinach leaves to your salad or throw a handful in your smoothie. You can also prepare some with spirulina and apple juice for a refreshing, low-calorie beverage. Or sauté a few collard greens and serve alongside some grilled chicken.
What's especially great about spirulina is how easy it is to incorporate into your diet. Add a few tablespoons to your smoothie or indulge in this vegan spirulina ice cream. It's simple to make, and all you have to think about is whether or not you go back for an extra scoop.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, but we tend to lose quite a bit as we get older. By adding a mix of calcium-filled foods to your meals, you'll reduce the risk of developing bone-related diseases as you age. Whichever of these six foods you choose, you'll ensure that your bones remain healthy and strong.
Searching for more sources of calcium? Discover additional snacks and recipes with our Food & Snack Sources of Calcium page!