Natural foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D

A few days we had an active discussion on Whatsapp on Calcium and Vitamin D requirements, thanks to Raji and her knee treatment.
And, why not?! Let’s face it – While we are kids at heart, we are pushing 40 physically.
So our able Dr. Santana recommended we all ensure we take the necessary calcium and Vit D supplements and Porchelvi and Sweety chimed in.

I, personally, am wary of supplements. My crooked imagination thinks of all the chemicals and preservatives the nutrients must have bathed in, to be transformed into a magic pill. So, I have been researching on natural sources of Calcium and Vitamin D and my dear friends, here is the list.

Ladies – remember that women of our age need 1000 mg of Calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D every day for strong bones and healthy hair and nails. While calcium is available more readily, Vit D is a tough cookie and not an easily available via daily food.

Milk.jpg 1. Milk
I did not want to put Milk on top of the list.
Milk still feels like a childish drink, a habit I outgrew years ago. But every nutritional data points to milk being one of the best sources of calcium.
250ml of milk can give you about 300 mg of Calcium and 106 IU of Vitamin D.
So do the math – 3 glasses of milk a day and you have got the calcium and Vit D you need, pretty much.
Due to my paranoia about artificial processing, I don’t drink slim milk any more.
But don’t listen to me and enjoy fat free or toned milk.
Add palm sugar and cinnamon to your milk for that additional flavour and better health.
2. Curd
What are we without our customary curd rice?! So it’s I a relief that our beloved curd is a wonderful source of calcium.
3/4 cup of curd can give you 320 mg of Calcium. It is not a significant source of Vitamin D.

But so what?!!
Flaunt your love for curd. Make raithas, buttermilk, curd rice, morkuzhambu (and please share your recipes here).

But remember your grandmother’s advice and don’t eat too much curd at night.

2015/02/img_0546.jpg 3. Sesame Seeds
This is my newest discovery. This tiny little seed is a powerhouse of nutrition. Did you know that 100g of Ellu can give you all the calcium you need in one day?!
How I wish this did not have the side effects of excess body heat and all the other troubles that come with it!
Nevertheless, have sesame seeds everyday. Black ones have slightly more calcium than the white ones. The key is to have them in moderation, may be a table spoon every day. That is still 150 mg if calcium which is a big deal.
To keep it easy, I go for 2 Ellu urundai-s every day and savour the goodness of jaggery.
4. Spinach
Spinach or any dark leafy vegetable is another wonder food rich in calcium and iron.
The lucky ones among you who live in Tamilnadu can pick their choice of Agathi keerai, murunga keerai and other varieties. If you are living abroad eat salad leaves which are darker in colour like kale.
The other miracle of Spinach is that it is low calorie, no fat option.
(I can just imagine every one of you sitting with that big bowl of keerai masiyal which of course is not a problem for Sweety who drinks murunga I keerai soup every week)
2015/02/img_0550.jpg 5. Orange
I was actually surprised to find out about this one. But a medium size orange has 50 mg of Calcium and lots of Vitamin C. Vitamin C actually helps in absorption of calcium by the bones.
So I would say this is a good package deal. And it feels hep to have fresh squeezed orange juice with breakfast.
6. Fish
I have listed down lot of calcium rich foods, but not many with Vitamin D. Of course there are not many but here is one half of us won’t touch but is loaded with that killer combination of calcium and Vitamin D.
All oily fishes, salmon, sardines and locally, Mathi meen and Keluthi meen pack a punch. 75g of cooked fish contain anywhere from 180 to 400 IU of Vitamin D and 200 to 300 mg Calcium.
My dear “Naan” vegetarians, you don’t have to miss out on this wonder food. If you are not finicky, go ahead and pick up a bottle of fish oil capsules. You will get the same benefits (may be minus the calcium) without the gore.
2015/02/img_0553.png 7. Beans, nuts and dry fruits
Butter beans and Rajma, Almonds and dried figs are other great sources of calcium.
Ask Porchi for great recipes with Rajma. 3/4 cups do cooked butter beans contains 100 mg of calcium and same amount of rajma provides 58 mg of calcium.
Or, put figs and almonds in a milk shake and replace a whole meal, Sudha style.
Either way these are easy options to add to daily food intake.
8. Chocolates
Ok – actually, chocolates are not a real source of calcium or vitamin D. But I added them because every girl must have chocolate every day. (Priya, you will agree..)
If nothing else, chocolates reduce the stress and transport you to that world which is full of magic and has no worries.
That should count for some thing, right?

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