Benefits of Calcium
Calcium is a major component of your bones and teeth and is important in bone remodeling and formation within your body. When the absorption of calcium from the food you eat is limited bone tissue may broken down to provide calcium to the other tissues in your body that need it. Over time this can lead to osteoporosis or weak and porous bones. Calcium also plays an important role in nerve signaling and muscle contraction. This embodies everything from brain signals, muscle relaxation, and hormone secretion.
Foods Sources of Calcium
- Dairy- milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, fortified milk alternatives (i.e. soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc.)
- Leafy Greens – kale, collard greens, Bok choy, artichoke
- Proteins/fats—canned salmon or sardines with bones, sesame seeds/sesame butter (tahini), almonds, tofu, edamame beans, chia seeds
Some foods are fortified with calcium for consumer consumption such as: orange juice, soy milk and breads.
Did you know
Phytates are present in certain plant products which lower the absorption of calcium in the gut. Both calcium and phytic acid are present in plant products like grains, nuts and legumes. To reduce phytate content, soaking grains, seeds or legumes overnight will cause some of the phytate to seep into the liquid. Be sure to discard soaking liquid before consuming your soaked grains, seeds or legumes. Sprouting grains also helps to reduce phytate content and allow for better absorption of certain micronutrients!