Calcium is, in fact, a metal. Yellowish in color and identified by its chemical symbol “Ca,” calcium belongs to the group of alkaline earth metals. Our body needs calcium to function properly, especially for bone and tooth formation. It also has a role to play in muscle contraction, nerve conduction, hormone production, blood clotting and the regulation of many enzymes.
If we eat a balanced diet, we get about 1,000 mg of calcium each day. This is slightly higher than the daily recommended intake, which is only 800 mg for an adult male, but as much as 1500 mg per day for women over the age of 50, according to the World Health Organization. Calcium can be found abundantly in yogurt, almonds, parsley and watercress.
However, the food richest in calcium is wakame – a brown edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking, in salads and soups. Wakame is 10 times richer in calcium than milk, well-known the world over to be high in calcium. One hundred grams of cheeses such as cantal, emmental and gouda contain more than 950 mg of calcium, but plenty of fat as well.