Calcium is the most plentiful mineral in your body, with about 99 percent of the calcium residing is in your bones. Calcium is also essential for the normal functioning of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.
Since Dairy foods are discouraged for people who have or had certain cancers, getting enough calcium becomes a challenge. High intake of protein or calcium from dairy products has proven to increase the risk of prostate cancer. ¹ Calcium from nondairy sources, however, was not associated with increased risk.
Sometimes calcium deposits accumulate in soft tissue such as the breasts. There are several reasons for the connection between calcifications and breast cancer. In DCIS, for example, cancer cells in the center of the ducts can die because they lack access to blood and nutrients, leaving a calcified line along the path of the duct.
Therefore for both men and women, taking calcium supplements is not the most optimal way to get your calcium. Excessive consumption of milk (which is high in calcium) and some types of antacids, especially those containing calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), over a long period of time can cause milk-alkali syndrome, a condition that can lead to calcium deposits in the kidneys and other tissues and to kidney failure.
Getting your calcium from foods seems to be the safest strategy.
Below are the top 20 food sources for Calcium. Make sure you have 2 – 3 servings every day.
Food Source and Serving
|Rhubarb 1 cup||266|
|Tofu, firm, 1/2 cup||258|
|Sardines, with bones, 6||250|
|Spinach, 1 cup cooked||244|
|Winged bean (Goa), 1 cup||244|
|Salmon, canned, 3.5 oz.||188|
|Refried beans, 1 cup||188|
|Amaranth, 1 cup||150|
|Collard greens, 1 cup cooked||148|
|Molasses, blackstrap, 1 TBSP||145|
|Figs, dried 5 figs||135|
|Edamame, 1/2 cup||130|
|Tahini, 2 TBSP||125|
|Great Northern beans, 1 cup||121|
|Kale, 1/2 cup cooked||100|
|Black beans, 1 cup||103|
|Carob powder, 2 TBSP||98|
|Almonds, 1/4 cup||90|
|Almond butter, 2 TBSP||85|
|Beet greens, 1/2 cup cooked||85|
|Agar flakes, 1 TBSP||80|
¹ Allen NE, Key TJ, Appleby PN, et al. Animal foods, protein, calcium and prostate cancer risk: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. British Journal of Cancer 2008; 98(9):1574–1581.
~ Be Well. ♥