Papaya isn’t rich in calcium. A serving has only 29 mg of calcium, or about 3% DV. But, we should consume papaya regularly. It has a superior nutritional value and could increase calcium absorption.
Health benefits of calcium
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body!
Above all, calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth. Calcium deficiency may lead to osteoporosis.
Moreover, calcium is necessary for muscle movement and flexibility, blood vessel contraction and dilation, blood clotting, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion.
In fact, getting adequate amounts of calcium may lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, atherosclerosis, and even certain cancers.[1,2]
How much calcium do we need per day?
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.
Moreover, children older than 13 years and teenagers require at least 1,300 mg of calcium, due to bone growth.
How much calcium is in a serving of papaya?
Papaya contains low amounts of calcium. Fresh papaya fruit has only 20 mg of calcium per 100 g. In fact, an 1-cup (145 g) serving of fresh papaya fruit contains only 29 mg of calcium, or about 3% of the recommended daily intake.
Although papaya isn’t high in calcium, we should consume it regularly.
Above all, papaya may protect from many oxidative stress-related diseases, as it’s particularly high in antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants fight inflammation, which has been associated with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease![4,5]
Papaya pulp is rich in vitamin A, and vitamin E, as well as minerals, such as magnesium and potassium. Potassium may decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis, as it regulates calcium metabolism.
Moreover, papaya is particularly high in vitamin C. Vitamin C increases calcium absorption. So, you could have papaya as a healthy dessert, after consuming other foods high in calcium.
Additionally, papaya pulp and seeds may help reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
Are other papaya products rich in calcium?
Dried papaya contains 54 mg of calcium per 100 g or 22 mg per serving.
Papaya juice contains only 10 mg of calcium per 100 g or 25 mg per serving.
Canned papaya contains 21 mg of calcium per 100 g or only 8 mg per serving.
But, better avoid these products. You should consume only fresh papaya fruit. Other papaya products are particularly high in sugars.
Cow’s milk & dairy shouldn’t be the main dietary sources of calcium
Papaya is low in calcium. We can’t depend on it to meet our daily needs. We have to consume other foods high in calcium.
Certainly, cow’s milk and dairy are the richest common dietary sources of calcium. But, milk and dairy are particularly high in saturated fats as well.
A glass of whole milk has approximately 4.6 g of saturated fatty acids, while just a slice of cheddar cheese has 3.3 g of saturated fatty acids!
Most noteworthy, cow’s milk and dairy naturally contain trans fats! A serving of cow’s milk has 0.28 g of trans fats, while a slice of cheddar cheese has 0.19 g! Trans fats are pretty dangerous for the heart.[7,8]
The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 13 g of saturated fats and 0 g of trans fats per day.
Common foods high in calcium
Actually, there are many plant-based foods high in calcium. Besides cow’s milk, many fruits, leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds are good dietary sources of calcium.
For instance, kale and spinach are particularly high in calcium, containing more than 250 mg and 100 mg of calcium per 100 g, respectively. Cabbage is among the richest plant-based sources of calcium as well.
You can boost your daily calcium intake, adding moringa powder to your smoothies. Moringa powder is among the richest foods in calcium. It contains about 2,700 mg of calcium per 100 g! Just for comparison, cow’s milk contains only 113 mg of calcium per 100 mL. 2 tsp of moringa powder contain 70 mg of calcium! Moringa is a true superfood! You’ll find a wide variety of moringa supplements and powders on iHerb.
Consuming high amounts of calcium from food is safe. But, we shouldn’t get too much from supplements.