Among other minerals, calcium is the most abundantly present in the human body.
Right from childhood to adulthood, at every stage, this mineral is required in varied amounts.
Calcium functionality is not just restricted to the bone health and building strong teeth but plays a wide role in the overall development; protecting against heart disease, in menopausal women since decreased estrogen production may lead to depleted calcium level, in hypo or hyperthyroidism, major role in blood clotting along with vit.K, in muscular movement. Calcium is one of the key factors in promoting growth in kids.
But this mineral cannot be self-produced by the body. Supplements or dietary intake of calcium is important.
Though calcium is found in abundance in all dairy products like yogurt, cheese, milk, paneer (cottage cheese); other sources also have more or less amount of it like few grains, dry fruits, pulses and vegetables which can be differentiated as moderate to rich sources of calcium.
Grains: Moderate source of calcium: Oats, corn, whole wheat flour, unpolished rice
Rich source of calcium : Amaranth (rajgira), ragi (nachni/finger millets)
Fruits: Dried figs, apricots have good amount of calcium.
Vegetables: Rich sources are leafy greens, lady finger (okra), broccoli.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Pulses and legumes: such as kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas, soybean are good sources of calcium for vegans and for people with lactose intolerance.
Non-vegetarian source is fish; to name a few like salmon, mackerel, sardines. Include whole egg for vit. D3.
Your body needs other vitamins and minerals which help in better absorption of calcium like vit. D3 and to maintain its level in the blood like vit.K and magnesium.
So, correct your diet for better bone health as calcium is better absorbed from the food than supplements.