BY DR. KHOOBSURAT NAJMA
Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also helps regulate blood pressure. The body can get calcium from one of two sources: food or bones. When food fails to meet your body’s calcium requirements, it borrows it from your bones. If this happens over a period of time then it leads to bone loss. Though meat, poultry and fish are very good sources but they are not the only sources of calcium. Vegetarians can get calcium from many sources including:
Dairy: Milk, curd and cheese are rich sources of calcium. Milk has calcium in a form that can be easily digested and absorbed by the body. Curd and cheese are also loaded with calcium. You can add cheese to your salads or have it in cooked form.
Oranges: One orange has up to 60 mg of calcium. Oranges are not only rich in calcium but also contain vitamin D that is essential to absorb the calcium in the body. Have an orange as a mid-morning or evening snack.
Dates: dates are rich sources of calcium, iron and fiber. Each date contains around 15mg of calcium. Add 4-5 dates to a glass of milk or have them as a mid-day snack.
Almonds: almonds are high on protein which means they keep you full for longer. Almonds are also loaded with vitamin E and calcium. Each nut gives about 70-80 mg of calcium. So, chew on just a handful of nuts to get a boost of calcium.
White Beans – White bean refers to any bean that is white or off-white in color. Half a cup of these beans can give you as much as 100 mg of calcium. So have a bowl of boiled beans 2-3 times a week to get your dose of calcium
Figs: figs are rich sources of calcium and iron. Moreover, they have very high fiber content. You can have figs when they are in season or buy them in dried form and add them to your breakfast cereals, salads or smoothies.
Broccoli – 100 grams of this wonder vegetable can give you 47 mg of calcium. Broccoli offers high levels of immune system-boosting vitamin C, bone-strengthening vitamin K, and folate, which plays a strategic role in regulating cell growth and reproduction.