Are you getting enough calcium?

The kale in this white bean soup is loaded with calcium. The kale in this white bean soup is loaded with calcium.

Calcium is an essential mineral for good health. It helps to build strong bones and teeth and facilitates efficient communication between cells.

It’s important for everyone to get enough in their everyday diet, but it’s especially vital for children, teens, older adults, vegans and those with lactose intolerance. The recommended daily intake for children ages 4 to 8 is 1,000 milligrams; for older children and teens ages 9 to 18, 1,300 milligrams; men 51 years and older, 1,000 milligrams; and women 51 years and older, 1,200 milligrams.

One of the consequences of inadequate calcium intake involves the body taking the calcium it requires from bone, which in the long run can lead to more serious health issues such as osteoporosis and bone fractures.

So even if you don’t visibly see it, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. To help prevent these potentially painful repercussions, fill your plate with a variety of tasty calcium-rich foods including dairy products, kale, broccoli, salmon, sardines, tofu and fortified grains.

 

The kale in this white bean soup is loaded with calcium.

White Bean and Kale Soup

Makes 6 servings

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

• 8 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

• 6 cups kale, chopped

• 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

• 30 ounces canned cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained

• 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 1 teaspoon dried basil

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and sauté until soft.

Add kale and sauté, stirring until wilted.

Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. You can also just mash the beans in the broth with a potato-masher, and stir into the soup to thicken.

Simmer for 30 minutes on low. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving: 165 calories, 3 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams protein, 597 milligrams sodium, 8.5 grams fiber

Emily DelConte, Kali Garges, Amy King, Kelly Markiewicz and Meghan Martorana write this column and are registered dietitians at EVOLUTION — Nutrition Counseling by Dietitians in Bristol, East Greenwich, Newport and Providence. They adapt the recipes from public domain or copyright-free recipes.

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