Calcium is the most common mineral found in the human body, making up about two per cent of your body weight. So yes, it is important!
Almost all calcium is stored in our bones and teeth, but small amounts are present in heart, muscle and nerve tissue as well.
Sources: Dairy is the most dense source of calcium.
Eating the recommended two and a half serves of dairy each day will give you most of your calcium requirements.
This could be 1 cup of milk, 2 slices of cheese or ¾ of a cup of yoghurt.
Non-dairy sources of calcium include; unhulled Tahini, almonds, spinach, kale, chia seeds, milk alternatives (enriched almond or soy milk) anchovies and canned sardines.
Calcium absorption can be reduced by an excessive intake of salt, carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine and very high fibre diets (50g per day).
Vitamin D is also needed to absorb all that lovely calcium.
Benefits: Calcium is well known for preserving bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and lowering the risk of fractures.
Adequate calcium is vital for strong, healthy teeth and gums and can help prevent tooth loss in older people.
There is preliminary evidence to suggest that an adequate intake of calcium may lower a person’s risk of colorectal cancer.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) related mood changes may be also reduced with adequate calcium intake, however this is still a new area of research.
Do I need to take a calcium supplement? It is always favourable to source your vitamins and minerals from food rather than supplements, but in some cases, it’s not possible.
Just like any medication it is important to talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care professional before taking any form of supplements.
Calcium supplements may interact with your current medications, making them less effective and can cause tummy upsets such as bloating and constipation.
Emerging evidence has even linked high dose calcium supplements to an increased risk of heart issues.
- 1. Get your hit of Vitamin D, you just need 10-15mins of sunlight on your hands, forearms and
- face to get your daily dose.
- 2. Recommended intake for healthy adults is 1000-1300mg per day.
- 3. Australian Guide to healthy eating recommends 2.5 serves of dairy a day.
- 4. Use tahini or yoghurt in soups or as salad dressing. Unhulled Tahini can have up to 280mg
- per 20g serve.
- 5. Add yoghurt and a sprinkle of almond flakes to your fruit salad to increase both the protein
- and calcium intake.
- 6. Consume tea 30 minutes after a meal to maximise your calcium absorption.
- 7. Swapping peanut butter for almond spread on your toast, to boost your calcium intake.
- 8. Choose calcium fortified cereals where you can.
Head to areanews.com.au to see Jess’ Unhulled Tahini salad dressing recipe, and find more information on the calcium table of sources.
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of unhulled tahini
1 tea spoon of honey
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 crushed clove of garlic
½ tea spoon of cumin powder
3 table spoons of water
Pinch of salt
Place all ingredients into an empty jar and shake until combined, will stay fresh in the fridge for a week.
Table of calcium sources
½ of cooked Kale – 95mg
½ of cooked spinach- 154mg
1 cup of soy milk- 325mg
1 cup of milk 300mg
1 cup of enriched almond milk- 312mg
50g of cheese- 280mg
¾ cup of yoghurt, plan – 265mg
¾ cup of Greek yoghurt- 180mg
75g of canned sardines- 286mg
75g of Anchovies- 180mg
¾ cup of baked beans- 90mg
¼ cup of almonds- 93mg
1 table spoon of unhulled Tahini – 280mg
1 table spoon of Almond Butter – 60mg