We’ve been hearing about calcium since we were kids.
Is it only in milk? Is it actually good for our bones? Do we really need it?
Wait. There’s an even bigger question.
What even IS calcium!?
We’re here to explain in a simple and entertaining way (you’re welcome) what exactly calcium is, why it’s good for your body, how much you need, and where to find it.
So if you’re like us and your only knowledge of calcium is from your parents… read on, friend.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral. A mineral is just a fancy name for a solid chemical compound found on Earth.
Fun fact: Calcium is actually the most abundant mineral in the human body (Healthline).
We won’t dive into the nitty gritty science-y stuff, but if you’d like to learn more about chemical compounds and calcium’s molecular structure, check out THIS resource.
But we’re here to keep things light.
Is Calcium Good for Our Bodies?
We’ve all heard calcium being associated with strong bones. But what does that mean?
As we mentioned before, our bodies have a lot of calcium. According to Harvard’s Public School of Health, 99% of that calcium is actually stored in our bones and teeth.
Because calcium provides our bones and teeth with “structure and hardness” that protects them from becoming weak or fragile. The weaker our bones are, the more likely they are to break. Therefore, calcium is extremely important for keeping our bodies healthy.
Other benefits of calcium include: “[preventing] blood clotting, helping muscles to contract, and regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve functions.” (Harvard as well).
Now, our bodies are constantly working hard to make sure our bones, teeth, blood, and tissue have enough calcium to be at their peak performance, but it’s up to us to keep the refills coming.
So how much Calcium do we need per day?
The National Institutes of Health state that adults over 19 years old need at least 1000mg of calcium per day. Check out the chart below to see a complete breakdown of recommended calcium intake per age group.
Yes we know, this 1000mg means absolutely nothing to you if you don’t know which foods and drinks contain calcium, and how many milligrams of calcium are in a serving of each.
We can help with that too.
What are the Most Calcium Rich Foods / Drinks?
The single greatest source of calcium (in our humble opinion) is lactose free chocolate milk.
Chocolate milk can contain anywhere from 300mg-600mg of calcium, or nearly HALF of your recommended daily value (DV) in one serving.
Slate for example has around 550mg of calcium, and tastes unbelievably delicious.
Here are a few other foods that are high in calcium (Healthline):
Seeds (poppy, chia, sesame) - can contain around 10% of your DV
Plain yogurt - up to 23% of DV
Canned fish - between 20-30% of DV
Collared greens (and some other leafy greens) - around 20% of DV
Hmm… chocolate milk seems like the move if you ask us…
To summarize, calcium is a mineral that is essential to strong bones and teeth (and has some other cool functions in our bodies too).
There are many foods and drinks that help supply our bodies with calcium, but choco milk seems to take the cake in terms of health and taste.
But no matter what, it’s important to get your calcium!
We hope ya learned something today. After all, knowledge is power. People say that, right?
The Slate Squad