Calcium is a mineral that plays many important roles in the body. Although most known for helping to build healthy bones and teeth, calcium is also needed for your heart health and for proper functioning muscles, and nerves.
[ Did you know? Around 99% of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth. ]
There are a variety of foods that contain calcium. Aim to eat the following foods if you are interested in increasing your calcium intake:
· Dairy products and fortified alternatives like milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, fortified soy and almond beverages.
· Seafood and other proteins like canned fish with bones like sardines and salmon, shrimp, almonds, white/navy beans, soy beans and tofu.
· Vegetables like broccoli rabe, collard greens, kale, broccoli and bok choy.
There are certain lifestyle factors that can negatively impact your calcium absorption. Following these recommendations will help increase your calcium absorption:
· Limit your alcohol intake and have no more than 2-3 drinks per day.
· Aim for no more than 400mg of caffeine per day for adults (approximately 2-3 cups of coffee per day). Pregnant and breastfeeding women should have no more than 300mg of caffeine per day.
· Avoid smoking as much as possible.
1 mango, ripe, peeled, chopped
½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
½ cup milk, soy or almond beverage
½ cup ice cubes
Honey, to taste
In blender on high speed, blend mango, yogurt, milk, honey to taste and ice for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Salmon Fish Cake
2 14.75 ounce cans of salmon
6 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 lime, juiced
4 tablespoons oil
1. Drain salmon. If desired, pick out the bones and skin, however leaving in the bones will increase the calcium content.
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine salmon, eggs, green onions, panko bread crumbs, parmesan, and lime juice. Use hands to combine and then form into patties that are no more than one inch thick.
3. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. When heated, add salmon patties; make sure patties are at least 1-inch apart. Cook patties in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding. Cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes, then flip and cook until golden brown on other side.
4. Serve warm or cold.
White Bean and Cheese Quesadilla
1 15oz. can white/navy beans
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups fresh spinach
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
4 8-inch whole-grain tortillas
1. Rinse and drain beans. Once well drained, transfer them to a bowl and add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine the beans with the spices.
2. Roughly chop the spinach into smaller pieces. Add the spinach, cheese, and sour cream to the bowl with the beans, then stir to combine.
3. Divide the spinach and bean mixture between the four tortillas, then fold them in half to close.
4. Cook the quesadillas, one or two at a time, in a skillet over medium heat until the tortillas are brown and crispy and the filling is melted (3-5 minutes each side).
5. Cut the quesadillas in half, then serve.