By Kerri-Ann Jennings
You have more calcium in your body than any other mineral and it's very important for health. It makes up much of your bones and teeth and plays a role in cardiovascular health, muscle function and nerve signaling.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is 1,000 mg per day for most adults. It is also recommended that women over 50 and everyone over 70 get 1,200 mg per day, while children aged 4-18 are advised to get 1,300 mg.
However, a large percentage of the population does not get enough calcium from the diet (1).
The main foods rich in calcium are dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. However, many non-dairy sources are also high in this mineral. These include seafood, leafy greens, legumes, dried fruit, tofu and various foods that are fortified with calcium.
Here are 15 foods that are rich in calcium, many of which are non-dairy:
Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses. Some of them are high in calcium, including poppy, sesame, celery and chia seeds.
For instance, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of poppy seeds has 126 mg or 13 percent of the RDI (2).
Sesame seeds have 9 percent of the RDI for calcium in 1 tablespoon. They also have other minerals, including copper, iron and manganese (4).
Bottom Line: Several kinds of seeds are good sources of calcium. For instance, 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds has 13 percent of the RDI.
As an added bonus, the calcium in dairy products is more easily absorbed by your body than when it comes from plant sources.
Dairy may have additional health benefits as well. A recent study suggests dairy may lower the risk of heart disease (8).
Another study found that eating cheese daily was linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which raises your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes (9).
However, remember that full-fat cheese is also high in fat and calories. Most cheeses also have a lot of sodium, which some people are sensitive to.
Bottom Line: Parmesan cheese delivers 33 percent of the RDI of calcium. While high in fat and calories, cheese may actually lower your risk of heart disease.
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium.
Many types of yogurt are also rich in live probiotic bacteria, which have various health benefits.
One cup (245 grams) of plain yogurt contains 30 percent of the RDI. It also contains vitamin B2, phosphorous, potassium and vitamin B12 (10).
Low-fat yogurt may be even higher in calcium, with 45 percent of the RDI in one cup (11).
One study linked eating yogurt to better overall diet quality and improved metabolic health. Participants who ate yogurt had lower risks of metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (13).
Bottom Line: Yogurt is one of the best sources of calcium, providing 30 percent of the RDI in one cup. It's also a good source of protein and other nutrients.
4. Sardines and Canned Salmon
Sardines and canned salmon are loaded with calcium, thanks to their edible bones.
While seafood can contain mercury, smaller fish such as sardines have low levels. Not only that, both sardines and salmon have high levels of selenium, a mineral that can prevent and reverse mercury toxicity (18).
Bottom Line: Sardines and canned salmon are super healthy choices. A can of sardines gives you 35 percent of the RDI for calcium.
5. Beans and Lentils
Some varieties also have decent amounts of calcium.
However, winged beans top the chart. A single cup of cooked wing beans has 244 mg or 24 percent of the RDI (19).
White beans are also a good source, with a cup of cooked white beans providing 13 percent of the RDI. Other varieties of beans and lentils have less, ranging from around 4–6 percent of the RDI per cup (20, 21, 22).
Interestingly, beans are credited with being one of the reasons that plant-rich diets are so healthy. Research suggests that beans may help lower LDL (the “bad") cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (23).
Bottom Line: Beans are highly nutritious and one cup of cooked wing beans delivers 24 percent of the RDI for calcium.
Almonds also provide 3 grams of fiber per ounce, as well as healthy fats and protein. They are an excellent source of magnesium, manganese and vitamin E.
Bottom Line: Almonds are high in nutrients like healthy fats, protein, magnesium and others. One ounce or 22 nuts, delivers 8 percent of the RDI for calcium.
7. Whey Protein
Whey protein is found in milk and has been extensively studied for its health benefits.
It's an excellent protein source and full of quickly digested amino acids (26).
Whey is also exceptionally rich in calcium. A 1-ounce (28-gram) scoop of whey protein powder isolate contains 200 mg or 20 percent of the RDI (27).
Bottom Line: Whey protein is an exceptionally healthy protein source. A scoop of whey protein powder has 20 percent of the RDI for calcium.
8. Some Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens are incredibly healthy and some of them are high in calcium.
For instance, one cup of cooked collard greens has 266 mg—a quarter of the amount you need in a day (28).
Note that some varieties are high in oxalates. These are naturally occurring compounds that bind to calcium, making some of it unavailable to your body.
Spinach is one of them. So although it has a lot of calcium, it's less available than the calcium in low-oxalate greens, such as kale and collard greens.
Bottom Line: Some dark, leafy greens are rich in calcium. One cup of cooked collard greens contain 25 percent of your daily needs.
Rhubarb has a lot of fiber, vitamin K, calcium and smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
Like spinach, rhubarb is high in oxalates, so much of the calcium is not absorbed. One study found that only a quarter of it was absorbed from rhubarb (30).
On the other hand, the calcium numbers for rhubarb are quite high. So even if you're only absorbing a quarter of it, that's still 87 mg per cup of cooked rhubarb (31).
Bottom Line: Rhubarb has lots of fiber, vitamin K and other nutrients. The calcium may not be fully absorbed, but the numbers are still high.
10. Fortified Foods
Another way to obtain calcium is through fortified foods.
Some types of cereal can deliver up to 1,000 mg (100 percent of the RDI) per serving and that's before adding milk.
However, keep in mind that your body can't absorb all that calcium at once and it's best to spread your intake throughout the day (32).
Flour and cornmeal may also be fortified with calcium. This is why some breads, tortillas and crackers contain high amounts of it.
Bottom Line: Grain-based foods may be fortified with calcium. Read the label to find out how much is contained in fortified foods.
Amaranth is a pseudocereal that is super nutritious.
It's a good source of folate and very high in certain minerals, including manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and iron.
A cup of cooked amaranth grain delivers 116 mg of calcium or 12 percent of the RDI (33).
Amaranth leaves contain even more, at 28 percent of the RDI per cooked cup. The leaves also have very high amounts of vitamins A and C (34).
Bottom Line: The seeds and leaves of amaranth are very nutritious. A cup of cooked amaranth grain provides 12 percent of the RDI of calcium.
12. Edamame and Tofu
Edamame are soybeans in the pod.
One cup of edamame has 10 percent of the RDI of calcium. It's also a good source of protein and delivers all your daily folate in a single serving (35).
Bottom Line: Tofu and edamame are both rich in calcium. Just half a cup of tofu prepared with calcium has 86 percent of the RDI.
13. Fortified Drinks
Even if you don't drink milk, you can still get calcium from fortified non-dairy beverages.
A cup of fortified soy milk has 30 percent of the RDI.
Its 7 grams of protein make it the non-dairy milk that's most nutritionally similar to cow's milk (37).
Other kinds of nut- and seed-based milks may be fortified with even higher levels.
However, fortification isn't just for non-dairy milks. Orange juice can also be fortified, providing as much as 50 percent of the RDI per cup (38).
Bottom Line: Non-dairy milks and orange juice can be fortified with calcium. A cup of fortified orange juice can have 50 percent of the RDI.
Dried figs are rich in antioxidants and fiber.
Moreover, figs also provide decent amounts of potassium and vitamin K.
Bottom Line: Dried figs contain more calcium than other dried fruits. A single ounce has 5 percent of your daily needs for this mineral.
Milk is one of the best and cheapest calcium sources.
Additionally, milk is a good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.
Goat's milk is another excellent source of calcium, providing 327 mg per cup (42).
Bottom Line: Milk is a great source of well-absorbed calcium. A cup of milk provides between 27 percent and 35 percent of the RDI.
Take Home Message
Calcium is an important mineral that you may not be getting enough of.
While dairy products tend to be the highest in it, there are plenty of other good sources—many of which are plant-based.
You can easily meet your calcium needs by eating from this diverse list of foods.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.
- Groundbreaking Fossil Shows Prehistoric 15-Foot Reptile Tried to ... ›
- Skull of Smallest Known Dinosaur Found in 99-Million-Year Old Amber ›
- Giant 'Toothed' Birds Flew Over Antarctica 40 Million Years Ago ... ›
- World's Second-Largest Egg Found in Antarctica Probably Hatched ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Pruitt Guts the Clean Power Plan: How Weak Will the New EPA ... ›
- It's Official: Trump Administration to Repeal Clean Power Plan ... ›
- 'Deadly' Clean Power Plan Replacement ›
By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.
- Gorillas in San Diego Test Positive for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- Wildlife Rehabilitators Are Overwhelmed During the Pandemic. In ... ›
- Coronavirus Pandemic Linked to Destruction of Wildlife and World's ... ›
- Utah Mink Becomes First Wild Animal to Test Positive for Coronavirus ›
By Peter Giger
The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.
A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
Cutting Off Circulation<p>As well as devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world, melting polar ice could set off another tipping point: a disablement to the AMOC.</p><p>This circulation system drives a northward flow of warm, salty water on the upper layers of the ocean from the tropics to the northeast Atlantic region, and a southward flow of cold water deep in the ocean.</p><p>The ocean conveyor belt has a major effect on the climate, seasonal cycles and temperature in western and northern Europe. It means the region is warmer than other areas of similar latitude.</p><p>But melting ice from the Greenland ice sheet could threaten the AMOC system. It would dilute the salty sea water in the north Atlantic, making the water lighter and less able or unable to sink. This would slow the engine that drives this ocean circulation.</p><p><a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century" target="_blank">Recent research</a> suggests the AMOC has already weakened by around 15% since the middle of the 20th century. If this continues, it could have a major impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, but particularly Europe. It may even lead to the <a href="https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/39731?show=full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cessation of arable farming</a> in the UK, for instance.</p><p>It may also reduce rainfall over the Amazon basin, impact the monsoon systems in Asia and, by bringing warm waters into the Southern Ocean, further destabilize ice in Antarctica and accelerate global sea level rise.</p>
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
Is it Time to Declare a Climate Emergency?<p>At what stage, and at what rise in global temperatures, will these tipping points be reached? No one is entirely sure. It may take centuries, millennia or it could be imminent.</p><p>But as COVID-19 taught us, we need to prepare for the expected. We were aware of the risk of a pandemic. We also knew that we were not sufficiently prepared. But we didn't act in a meaningful manner. Thankfully, we have been able to fast-track the production of vaccines to combat COVID-19. But there is no vaccine for climate change once we have passed these tipping points.</p><p><a href="https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2021" target="_blank">We need to act now on our climate</a>. Act like these tipping points are imminent. And stop thinking of climate change as a slow-moving, long-term threat that enables us to kick the problem down the road and let future generations deal with it. We must take immediate action to reduce global warming and fulfill our commitments to the <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Paris Agreement</a>, and build resilience with these tipping points in mind.</p><p>We need to plan now to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but we also need to plan for the impacts, such as the ability to feed everyone on the planet, develop plans to manage flood risk, as well as manage the social and geopolitical impacts of human migrations that will be a consequence of fight or flight decisions.</p><p>Breaching these tipping points would be cataclysmic and potentially far more devastating than COVID-19. Some may not enjoy hearing these messages, or consider them to be in the realm of science fiction. But if it injects a sense of urgency to make us respond to climate change like we have done to the pandemic, then we must talk more about what has happened before and will happen again.</p><p>Otherwise we will continue playing Jenga with our planet. And ultimately, there will only be one loser – us.</p>
By John R. Platt
The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.
- Biden Announces $2 Trillion Climate and Green Recovery Plan ... ›
- How Biden and Kerry Can Rebuild America's Climate Leadership ... ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental ... ›
- How Joe Biden's Climate Plan Compares to the Green New Deal ... ›