Calcium is the most prevalent mineral in our bodies. Our bones are a very important storage location for the almost one kilogram of calcium in the average adult body.
If we fail to take in enough calcium we risk developing osteoporosis, which is a disease of the bone that leaves them in a weakened condition and much more subject to breaking.
Although most common in women after menopause, osteoporosis can also develop in men and can also develop in anyone with certain hormonal disorders or some other chronic conditions. Because osteoporosis so greatly affects the structure and strength of the bones, the disease can have a very negative effect on both life expectancy as well as the quality of life.
Perhaps counter intuitively, research has found a relationship between a diet that is high in animal protein (meat) and elevated calcium loss. On the other hand, diets that rely more on cereals, vegetables and fruits have been shown to promote bone density
Given the importance of calcium to our overall health, it is a very good idea to know what foods high in calcium are on your menu.
While dairy is the most traditional source of calcium, other foods high in calcium are:
- seaweeds like kelp and wakame
Obviously most of these foods are not well represented in the modern diet which brings up the case for calcium supplement.
If your diet does not have enough of the foods high in calcium it is a very good idea to add a calcium supplement daily.
While there is a large number of calcium supplements available, one of the best is refined chia seed.
Chia is a plant native to South America, Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. For many hundreds of years, it was used as a primary food source by the native populations, including the Aztecs.
Chia is classified by the FDA as a raw, whole food and is very high in calcium, having some six times the calcium as milk.
Chia is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Iron, Magnesium, dietary fiber, and Potassium.