Have you ever noticed that some people seem to “shrink” in size and height as they age? Men can slowly lose an inch between the ages of 30 to 70, and women typically about two inches. After the age of 80, it’s possible for both men and women to lose another inch. Some of this due to loss of muscle mass but mostly it is due to a decline in bone mass. Loss of bone is due to a lot of factors, including smoking and diet and over time, it may be inevitable if you do weight-bearing exercises at least three times a week. However, if you start making a habit out of eating calcium-rich foods you can help stave off the shrinkage that can affect your bones as well as support 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 the hip, spine, and wrist are the most vulnerable. To stay in the best of health, it is a good to consume 1,000 to 2,000 mg of calcium per day.
Dairy and Non-Dairy Food Source of Calcium
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 is quite adequate 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 of 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 that 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 nuts. An ounce, which equals roughly a handful of almonds, has a whopping 307 mg of calcium. Hazelnuts are also a rich source of calcium at 240 mg an ounce. If you must buy cookies, make sure they have nuts in them (unless of course, you have a nut allergy!)
If you love soft ice cream then you will be glad to know that it is one of the richest 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.
If you are on a raw diet, do not despair. 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.
Should You Take Calcium Supplements?
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.
If you are pregnant it might also be especially a good idea to get your calcium from natural sources. 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!
Would you like to improve your bone health, reverse aging and boost your general health in a safe and natural way? If so, feel free to contact us at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare website at http://www.pinewoodhealth.ca, or you can call our Toronto Office a (416) 656-8100. We offer iv vitamn therapy, nutritional support, dark field microscopy blood analysis, naturopathic weight loss care. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at 905 427-0057. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.