Senior Health

7/26/2017 | By Terri L. Jones

Calcium is essential to maintain bone strength, particularly as we age. But what if you’re lactose-intolerant, vegan, or just not all that keen on milk? Luckily, cows don’t have a corner on the calcium market. Here are some calcium-rich foods that you may have slipped under your radar:

Greens. If you love leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens and even broccoli (I do, I do!), you’re in luck. They’re chock-full of calcium, not to mention other important nutrients your body will thank you for!

Fish. You may have already heard that salmon is a great source of the nutrient, but what you may not know is that it’s actually the bones that provide the real benefit. Purchase your salmon canned and you’ll get those nutrient-rich bones, softened in the canning process and blended inconspicuously with the meat. Sardines, if you like them, are an even better way to satisfy your calcium requirement.

Figs. Just like fish, fruits aren’t always healthiest when eaten fresh. Take figs, for example. When the water is removed in the drying process, calcium and other nutrients become much more concentrated, making dried figs one of the best fruit sources of calcium around. Just be careful because they’re also high in sugar!

Firm tofu. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re probably already a regular tofu consumer. Good news: Just a half a cup, with 861 mg of calcium, will practically take care of your daily allowance all by itself!

Sesame/chia seeds. Add just a tablespoon of these tasty seeds for crunchy texture to a stir-fry or a salad … and give your bones a healthy boost.

Almonds. Want a quick snack? Not only are almonds very satisfying when you can’t make it lunch or dinner, but they’re also an easy way to integrate a dose of calcium into your day.

White beans. White beans, including navy beans and Great Northerns, have a higher concentration of calcium than dark beans. Edamame is also a nutritional powerhouse, when it comes to this necessary nutrient.

Eggshells. If you find you’re still not getting enough calcium, don’t immediately load up on the supplements. Grind up some shells from organic eggs instead. However, you can’t just chomp through a hard-boiled egg; you have to properly prepare the shells and grind them into a fine powder first. Learn how.

Along with increasing your calcium intake, don’t forget that you also need Vitamin D to help your body absorb the calcium.

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones