We all remember Popeye popping open a can of spinach to gain super strength in the cartoons of our childhood. While spinach won’t actually make you instantly grow big muscles to fight villains, it is one of the top vegetables for calcium, which helps us grow strong, healthy bones.
About Veggies High in Calcium
Calcium is important because it helps build and maintain strong healthy bones and teeth, helps with blood clotting, supports nervous system function and regulates the heartbeat. It also can help prevent osteoporosis, a disease which causes weak and porous bones. Osteoporosis accounts for over 1.5 million broken or fractured bones each year. Women over 50 are specifically at high risk for osteoporosis. The recommended daily requirement of calcium is 1,000 mg. for adults ages 19-50 and 1,200 mg. for adults over 50.
About 99% of our calcium intake is stored in our bones and teeth, while the other 1% is found in our blood and soft tissues. When calcium stores run low in our blood, the body borrows calcium from the bones. If this happens too frequently, we are left with weak, calcium deficient bones. Increasing our calcium intake by eating calcium rich foods can prevent bone problems in the future. Additionally, foods that are rich in Vitamin D and Vitamin K help the body absorb more calcium and regulate calcium stores.
Eating Calcium Rich Vegetables
Most people are aware that milk and other dairy products are a great source of calcium. However, dairy products are also high in saturated fats. Also, people with dairy intolerance or those who choose vegan diets are not able to benefit from the high calcium in dairy products. Eating veggies high in calcium can help those who cannot get their daily dose of calcium from dairy.
Dark, leafy greens and dried beans are some of the most well-known calcium rich vegetables, but they are not the only veggie calcium sources. Below are some of the best vegetables for calcium. Note: High sodium intake can result in loss of calcium, so it may be best to skip the salt.