Big News about Calcium

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I've just seen the shocking new study linking calcium supplement to heart attacks. The study Shows Patients Taking Pills to Boost Calcium Levels Face 31 Percent Increase in Heart Attacks. 

My kids and I have been taking calcium supplements for years. Not any more. Foods naturally rich in calcium are far better – they raise the blood level of calcium slower than supplements, avoiding the artery-clogging mechanism described in the study. There are many excellent whole foods that are rich in calcium: figs, for example, have as much calcium as skim milk!

And check out these other great whole food sources: Sardines and salmon (canned, with bones) are rich in calcium, as are sesame seeds (think tahini in hummus), almonds, kale, yogurt, and cheddar cheese.

Eating the whole food has always been my philosophy, and this new study bears this out again. See below for a list of calcium-rich foods to eat instead of taking supplements. I agree with the article that more study is definitely needed, but now it looks like it's better to get calcium through food, which doesn't seem to cause this type of heart problem.

Another mitigating factor is that taking vitamin D along with calcium helps to reduce the risk. 

H
ere's a list of whole foods that contain lots of calcium:

Top 5 Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium 
1. Figs (four pieces contain 506 milligrams of calcium) 
2. Sardines with bones (3 ounces contain 324 milligrams) 
3. Soybeans (1 cup contains 261 milligrams) 
4. Salmon with bones (3 ounces contain 181 milligrams) 
5. Sesame Seeds (1 tablespoon contains 80 milligrams) 
Top 3 Foods with Calcium (by Category) 
Nuts 
1. Sesame Seeds 
2. Almonds 
3. Walnuts 
Fish/Shellfish 
1. Sardines (with bones) 
2. Salmon (with bones) 
3. Oysters 
Vegetables 
1. Soybeans 
2. Broccoli 
3. Chick Peas 
Fruits 
1. Figs 
2. Apricots 
3. Oranges 

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