The Benefits of Calcium

It is that time of the year again in the Garden State!

Delicious fresh veggies and yummy fruit. And the perfect time for a healthy smoothie too! Today I chose a green one, however, I love the fresh berry ones too. But first, I want to discuss the benefits of calcium in your diet and how to get it with fresh local produce.

Calcium is so important, your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart muscles and nerves need calcium to function properly too. The exact amount of calcium you need depends on your age and other factors. Growing children and teenagers need more calcium than young adults, while older women need plenty of calcium to prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. People who do not eat enough high-calcium foods should take a calcium supplement, but before you consider a calcium supplement, make sure that you understand how much calcium you actually need, learn the pros and cons of calcium supplements and speak to your physician. This is a great article for more information on calcium from the Mayo Clinic/Calcium

It is best to try to get calcium in the food you eat daily. I personally cannot take a calcium supplement because I find that they bother my stomach, so I make sure to get the daily amount in the food and drinks that I choose. Some of my favorites include edamame, figs, almond butter and fresh fruit sandwiches on organic calcium fortified bread.

Other foods rich in calcium include:

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. If you are lactose intolerant, choose the veggie options.

Leafy, green vegetables, spinach is my favorite, I put spinach in smoothies, salads, soups and omelettes too.

Choose fish with soft bones, such as canned sardines and salmon. Salmon is healthy and easy to buy and prepare.

There are many calcium-enriched foods such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, orange juice, soy milk, rice drinks and tofu. I buy little edamame packages in the frozen food aisle and defrost them for snacks.

I always feel that greens are a great way to get your daily calcium and help defend those beautiful bones. Here is one of the ways I get my calcium daily, it is so easy to make and take with you in the morning. I use a Nutra-Bullet RX it is affordable and works amazing for smoothies and makes hot soups too.

My Perfect Green Smoothie:
Just place one banana, one cup of low-fat milk or coconut water, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, one full cup of kale or spinach and one tablespoon of organic local honey in a blender and mix until it’s smooth and you have a very delicious bone defending smoothie. If you like a thicker shake like smoothie just add 1/2 an avocado. Yummy!

Cheers to good health!

Healthy choices