Spread the love

Unlock the secrets to strong bones and optimal health with our in-depth blog on calcium rich foods. Explore the best sources of this vital mineral and elevate your nutrition game today!

Calcium is a vital mineral that plays multiple roles in our bodies. It is essential for maintaining healthy nerve function, muscle contraction, and proper blood clotting. While our bodies can produce calcium, our main source of this nutrient comes from the foods we eat.

Dairy contributes to bone and tooth formation, as well as heart health, muscular function, and nerve signalling. (Ref)

How much calcium do we need?

To maintain optimal health, most adults should aim to consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day. However, there are certain groups, certain circumstances where a higher amount of calcium may be necessary. (Ref)

AgeRecommended daily calcium intake
Children (4-8yrs)800 mg/day
Adolescents (9-18 yrs)1300 mg/day
ConditionRecommended daily calcium intake
Breastfeeding women1250 mg/day
Adults (18+ yrs) with coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis1000-1500 mg/day
Postmenopausal women and men over 55 yrs1200 mg/day
Osteoporosis 1000 mg/day

While dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium, there are many non-dairy-options available.

Here are calcium-rich foods (dairy):

Milk and Dairy products:

Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium, with many additional health benefits. 

Cheese, including cottage cheese, delivers protein and is easier to digest for lactose intolerant people. 

Milk, including cow’s and goat’s milk, is rich in calcium and other nutrients like vitamin A and D. 

Yogurt is also high in calcium and rich in probiotics, which can improve overall health. 

Some research shows that regular consumption of milk & yogurt can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. (Ref 1) (Ref 2)

However, some dairy products can be high in saturated fat, calories, and sodium, which should be limited.

Here is the list of of Milk and dairy sources of calcium

FoodPortion sizeCalcium
Milk (any type)200 ml240 mg
Yogurt125 g200 mg
Cheddar cheese30 g216 mg
Soft cheese triangle 15 g100 mg
Cottage cheese100 g73 mg
Rice pudding 200 g180 mg
Ice cream60 g (one scoop)78 mg

Calcium rich foods that are non dairy:

1. Sardines and canned Salmon

Edible bones in sardines and canned salmon are a rich source of calcium. They contribute to 27% and 19% of the daily value (DV) respectively, in a 3.75-ounce (92-gram) can of sardines and 3 ounces (85 grams) of canned salmon with bones.

These fish are not only a good source of calcium but also provide high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart, brain, and skin.

Although seafood may contain mercury, sardines and salmon are smaller fish with low levels of mercury. Moreover, they are a rich source of selenium, which is a mineral that can prevent and reverse mercury toxicity.

2. Beans and lentils

By consuming beans and lentils, you can benefit from their rich content of fiber, protein, and micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, folate, magnesium, and potassium. 

Additionally, some types of beans, such as winged beans, can also contribute to your calcium intake by providing 244 mg, which is equivalent to 19% of the Daily Value (DV), in just one cooked cup (172 grams). (Ref)

White beans are another good source of calcium, providing 12% of the DV in one cup (179 grams) of cooked beans. Although other varieties of beans and lentils contain less calcium, they are still an important part of a healthy plant-based diet. (Ref)

Furthermore, incorporating beans into your diet may lead to various health benefits, including lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as suggested by research. (Ref)

3. Enriched Soya and rice milk

Enriched soya and rice milk can be a good source of calcium for those who follow a vegan or lactose-free diet. 

Soy and rice milk are often fortified with calcium and can provide up to 30-50% and 20-30% of the recommended daily intake for adults, respectively. It’s important to check nutrition labels to ensure they contain adequate calcium and other important nutrients may not be present. 

4. Seeds as a calcium rich foods

The focus of this statement is on the high calcium content of various types of seeds, including poppy, sesame, celery, and chia seeds. By consuming these tiny nutritional powerhouses, you can get a good dose of calcium that contributes towards your daily intake.

For instance, just 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of poppy seeds provides 10% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) of calcium, while sesame seeds offer 7% of the DV for calcium. (Ref)

Also, chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and protein. (Ref)

Overall, incorporating seeds into your diet can help you meet your calcium needs, while also providing a range of other essential nutrients.

5. Almonds

When it comes to nuts, almonds stand out as a top source of calcium. Consuming just 1 ounce (28 grams), or roughly 23 nuts, provides 6% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) of calcium. (Ref)

Moreover, almonds are rich in other essential nutrients, such as fiber, healthy fats, protein, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E. Regular consumption of almonds may also have health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, body fat, and various risk factors for metabolic disease.

So including almonds as a part of a well-balanced diet can not only help you meet your calcium needs but also provide a variety of other health benefits. (Ref)

6. Leafy greens

Leafy greens, such as collard greens, spinach, and kale, are excellent sources of calcium. 

Consuming 1 cup (190 grams) of cooked collard greens can provide about 21% of the daily recommended calcium intake, with 268 mg of calcium. (Ref)

However, it’s worth noting that spinach, despite being high in calcium, contains oxalates that can hinder calcium absorption. (Ref)

Thus, if you’re looking for calcium-rich greens with good absorption rates, you may want to consider consuming low-oxalate varieties like kale and collard greens. 

7. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a nutrient-dense vegetable that’s high in fiber, vitamin K, and calcium. 

Although rhubarb is also high in oxalates, which can hinder calcium absorption, it’s still a good source of calcium, providing approximately 8% of the Daily Value (DV) with 105 mg of calcium per cup (122 grams) of raw rhubarb. (Ref)

Rhubarb also contains prebiotic fiber, which can promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. (Ref)

However, a study found that the body can only absorb around 5% of the calcium found in rhubarb due to its oxalate content, much like spinach.

8. Whey protein

Whey is a milk-derived protein that’s well-known for its potential health benefits. It’s a rich source of protein and contains amino acids that can help promote muscle growth and recovery. (Ref)

Additionally, some studies suggest that diets high in whey may promote weight loss and help manage blood sugar levels. (Ref)

Moreover, whey is an excellent source of calcium, providing approximately 12% of the Daily Value (DV) with 160 mg of calcium in a 1.2-ounce (33-gram) scoop of whey protein isolate powder. (Ref)

9. Fortified Foods

Cereals are a convenient way to meet your daily calcium needs, especially when they are fortified with this mineral. 

Some cereal types can provide up to 1,000 mg of calcium per serving, which equals 100% of the Daily Value (DV) for calcium, before adding milk. However, it’s essential to note that the body cannot absorb all of the calcium in one go, and it’s best to distribute your intake throughout the day. (Ref)

Additionally, flour and cornmeal can also be fortified with calcium, which is why some bread, tortilla, and cracker products contain high amounts of this mineral.

10. Edamame and tofu

Edamame beans, sold in their pods, are not a different type of bean but rather young soybeans that are harvested early. These immature soybeans are a popular plant-based protein food known for their nutritional benefits. It’s unique in that it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source, which is rare for non-animal foods. 

1 cup (155 grmas) of cooked edamame contains 98mg calcium which corresponds to 8% of the Daily Value (DV) for calcium. (Ref)

In addition to protein, edamame also provides a significant amount of dietary fiber, with 8 grams of fiber per serving. These properties make it a great addition to any diet, especially for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle

Tofu made with calcium also contains 66% of the daily value for calcium in just half a cup (126 grams).

11. Figs: a great Calcium rich foods

If you consume half a cup of dried figs, you’ll get 121 milligrams of calcium. (Ref

Despite their sweet and sticky taste, dried figs are also a great source of fiber and potassium. Moreover, they contain magnesium, which is involved in over 300 biomechanical reactions in the body, including maintaining muscle function, regulating heart rhythm, and promoting strong bones.

Calcium rich foods chart:

Here are the Non-dairy sources of Calcium:

FoodPortion sizeCalcium
Sardines100 g (four sardines)410 mg
Canned Salmon1/2 can232 mg
Pilchards100 g (two pilchards)340 mg
Haddock150 g fillet150 mg
Baked beans220 g (one half of a large can)100 mg
Bok Choy1 cup shredded74 mg
Enriched soya/rice milk200 ml240 mg
Enriched orange juice250 ml300 mg
Tofu100 g500 mg
Spring green100 g200 mg
Spinach100 g150 mg
Watercress50 g75 mg
Broccoli50 g30 mg
Okra50 g130 mg
Kale50 g65 mg
Chickpeas100 g45 mg
Figs1/2 cup dried121 mg
Almonds15 g35 mg
Brazil nuts15 g26 mg
Sesame seedsone tablespoon160 mg
Dried figs60 g (three figs)150 mg
Calcium-enriched breadTwo slices (80 g)300 mg
Currants100 g93 mg

Calcium rich foods: Takeaway

Calcium is a crucial mineral for overall health and well-being, and while dairy products are known to be rich sources of this nutrient, there are several plant-based options that provide significant amounts of calcium as well.

By incorporating a diverse range of calcium-rich foods into your diet, it is possible to easily meet your daily calcium requirements and maintain optimal health.

You may also like:

Top 10 zinc rich foods

Best Heart healthy diet

Best vitamin D food sources

Spread the love
Pin It
error: Content is protected !!