Milk is not the only calcium option

Onions as calcium.

The first thing that comes to mind when calcium is mentioned is milk. There are reliable alternate sources of calcium offered through the National Institute of Health. People who are lactose intolerant, have milk allergies or don’t enjoy the taste of milk choose alternative options daily.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) onions are a great source of calcium. One cup of sliced onions equals 26 grams of calcium. Onions are also high in potassium and low in sodium. The USDA is a trusted source for onions and other veggies, including recipes.

Calcium is an important element in the diet because it is a structural component of bones, teeth, soft tissues and is essential in many of the body’s metabolic processes. It accounts for one to two percent of adult body weight, 99 percent of which is stored in bones and teeth. On the cellular level, calcium is used to regulate the permeability and electrical properties of biological membranes (such as cell walls), which in turn controls muscle and nerve functions, glandular secretions and blood vessel dilation and contraction. Michigan State University Extension says that calcium is also essential for proper blood clotting.

Food labels on packaged, bottled and canned foods show how much calcium is in one serving of food. Look at the % Daily Value (or % DV) next to the calcium number on the food label. To learn more about how to read food labels, visit How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label or read calcium information.

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