Did you know that calcium is an essential mineral for improving bone structure? That’s why eating calcium-rich foods is so important for seniors. With advancing age, it is common for people to develop bone diseases, such as osteoporosis.
A balanced diet for the elderly is extremely important for their well-being, and calcium, specifically, can improve muscle concentration, the blood clotting process, and physical strength.
In this text we will explain which foods are rich in calcium and how we can introduce them into the diet of the elderly.
What are the benefits of calcium for the body?
Before knowing which foods are rich in calcium, let’s explain a little more about why this mineral is so important in the diet of the elderly.
In addition to the benefits already mentioned, such as the improvement and maintenance of bone health, the prevention of diseases like osteoporosis, falls, and fractures, the right amount of calcium in the body of the elderly can help in:
Prevention of bleeding: as it helps with blood clotting;
Prevention of colorectal cancer: since the mineral helps prevent the formation of adenomas, benign tumors present in the intestine;
Improvement of cardiovascular health: by helping in the contraction and relaxation of the heart muscles;
Prevention of kidney stones formation;
Improved digestion: since it stimulates the release of enzymes that aid digestion.
In addition, calcium can help reduce nausea, palpitations, and shortness of breath. This is why, for the elderly, a balanced diet with calcium intake and with medical guidance is so important.
9 foods rich in calcium:
When we hear about calcium, ‘milk’ immediately comes to mind. Of course this is the main source of this mineral and, therefore, some foods indicated for calcium consumption are its derivatives, such as natural yogurt and cheese.
But it is good to open our minds to the world of food, since other ingredients also have calcium in their composition and, often, we do not even know it. Therefore, we have made a list of 9 foods rich in calcium to be introduced in the diet of the elderly. Check it out below:
1. natural yogurt
Plain yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and has the power to improve heart health, in addition to increasing the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Most cheeses sold in supermarkets are excellent sources of calcium and can help maintain the amount of calcium in the body.
It is worth pointing out that soft cheeses have less calcium, but are still sources of calcium. If you have a choice, choose the harder cheeses with less fat.
Despite being more difficult to include in daily diets, oysters are also a food that has calcium in its composition.
In addition, the seafood is also rich in iron and has good amounts of omega-3.
Did you know that a 100 g serving of flaxseed contains 200 mg of calcium? Therefore, flaxseed is also recommended for replacing calcium.
But be aware. This food can be high in calories and should be consumed with caution.
5. Walnuts and almonds
Walnuts and almonds are also high in calcium. One cup of almonds, for example, contains about 380 milligrams of the mineral.
These foods can be used to supplement the daily diet.
Raisins are a food with a high content of vitamins and minerals, one of which is calcium. In addition, it provides energy and is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, good for digestion.
This is a very common food in vegetarian and vegan diets. The truth is that tofu (known as soy cheese), when well prepared, can be a great source of calcium and can supply much of the body’s calcium needs.
In addition, tofu is a good source of protein, potassium, and vitamin D.
Kale, besides being a source of calcium, is also rich in vitamins A, C, K, and B-complex, which help prevent the development of various diseases.
Spinach is also rich in vitamins A, C, B, and K, as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium.
In addition to preventing bone diseases, spinach also strengthens the immune system and helps concentration and memory, preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
In which cases is supplementation necessary?
Did you see that some simple foods can help replace calcium in the life of the elderly? But what about when the amount ingested is not enough? What should we do?
When the intake of food sources of calcium is not sufficient, or when the body’s need for calcium needs to be increased, supplementation is indicated.
This supplementation is used when there is a need for prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. Thus, supplementation helps muscle contraction and the prevention of osteoporosis, improves the lipid profile by increasing HDL and reducing LDL.
Attention: All vitamin supplementation should be recommended by a physician or nutritionist. After all, an excess of vitamins can also be harmful to the body.
How to take care of the elderly’s diet?
It doesn’t matter the age, taking care of the diet is something primordial when the subject is well-being and health. But specifically speaking of the elderly, this is an even more delicate issue.
The health of the elderly is literally linked to their diet. It is necessary to always pay attention to what the elderly are ingesting, in addition to performing periodic exams to know, in fact, how their health is.
Fresh food, rich in vitamins and minerals, and a balanced diet may be what is missing in the life of the elderly person in order to alleviate diseases and conditions.