Are dates rich in calcium?

Dates can help us meet our daily needs of calcium. Common date varieties have 64 mg of calcium per 100g, or 6.4% of the DV. However, there are date varieties with a much higher calcium content, providing up to 20% of the DV per serving.

What’s the calcium content of dates?

Dates have a moderate amount of calcium. Medjool dates contain 64 mg of calcium per 100g, or 6.4% of the Daily Value (DV). Just a pitted date contains 15.4 mg of calcium, or 1.5% of the DV.[1]

Are other date varieties high in calcium?

Medjool dates are the most common date variety. Each date variety has a different calcium content, though:

  • calcium-rich date varieties are Khalas (85 mg per 100g), Fard (82 mg), Hardrami (94 mg), Succari (206 mg), Mabroom (136 mg), and Safawi (132 mg).
  • calcium-poor date varieties are Barhi (9 mg), Lulu (8 mg), Naghal (14 mg), and Khunaizy (11 mg).

Therefore, you should prefer date varieties with a high calcium content, if you want to boost your calcium intake. A serving of 4 pitted dates could provide up to 20% of the DV.[2]

How many dates should I eat to increase calcium intake?

Dates are good dietary sources of calcium, but we should eat moderate amounts. They’re particularly high in calories and sugars. Overconsumption of dates can make us gain weight. Even people with diabetes can consume reasonable amounts, though.

Healthy people could consume 2-4 pitted dates a day. This amount provides 3%-6% of the recommended daily intake of calcium!

Do dates have more calcium than other common dried fruits?

Medjool dates have a similar calorie content as other popular dried fruits, such as raisins and prunes.

Dried goji berries have the highest calcium content among dried fruits, containing 190 mg per 100g. Figs and currants are also high in calcium, containing 162 mg and 88 mg of calcium per 100g, respectively. Other favorite dried fruits have less calcium than dates.

Do we absorb the calcium in dates?

The most bioavailable sources of calcium are cow’s milk, dairy products, and fortified foods. We absorb about 30% of calcium of these foods.

Most plant-based foods have much lower absorption rates than cow’s milk and dairy, though. They contain certain compounds, which inhibit calcium absorption. For instance, dates are particularly high in phenolics (3,942 mg per 100 g), which may negatively affect the absorption of calcium as well as other minerals in dates, like iron.

How to increase the absorption rate of calcium in dates?

Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium. However, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common. There aren’t many common foods high in vitamin D. Actually, many people would benefit from taking vitamin D supplements. You’ll find a wide variety on iHerb.[3]

What foods inhibit the absorption of calcium in dates?

First, you should avoid consuming foods rich in calcium or taking calcium supplements with foods high in oxalates. Oxalates bind to calcium, forming indigestible salts. They inhibit its absorption. We absorb only 5% of calcium from these foods. Common foods high in oxalates are spinach, collard greens, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, and beans.[4]

Plant-based foods high in calcium, which don’t contain oxalic acid, are broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Actually, these foods have a similar calcium absorption rate to cow’s milk.

High amount of caffeine and phosphorus can also decrease calcium absorption. So, avoid consuming tea or coffee with foods high in calcium.

You could eat dates on an empty stomach. Actually, they’re a great snack between meals. They promote satiety, as they’re particularly rich in fiber.

Common foods high in calcium

Cow’s milk and dairy are the main dietary sources of calcium for most people who follow the standard Western diet. Fish and eggs are other animal-derived foods with decent amounts of calcium.

However, there are many great plant-based sources of calcium. Beans (e.g. soy), seeds, nuts (e.g. almonds, peanuts), whole grains, pseudocereals, fruits, and certain vegetables, such as kale, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli can help us meet our daily needs.

How much calcium do we need a day?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body! It’s necessary for strong bones and teeth. Also, it’s involved in muscle movement and flexibility, blood vessel contraction and dilation, blood clotting, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion. In addition, getting adequate amounts of calcium may lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.[5,6]

The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg for adults. Only women older than 50 years should get at least 1,200 mg of calcium a day, due to increased risk of osteoporosis. Calcium absorption declines with age.

Furthermore, children older than 13 years and teenagers require at least 1,300 mg of calcium a day, due to rapid bone growth.

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