Calcium is one of the most important minerals that are required by the body. It plays a very crucial role in maintaining bone health, skeletal muscle contraction and maintaining the heart rhythm. It can control high blood pressure as well as increased blood levels of magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. The recommended dietary intake of calcium is 2500 mg for adults from 19-50 years and 2000 mg for adults after the age of 51.
Best 21 Calcium Rich Foods
In order to maintain good levels of calcium in the body as per our diet, it is important to know the good nutritional sources of this mineral. Calcium is predominantly found in dairy products. However, a lesser known fact is that it is found in good amounts in many non-dairy products as well.
Let us take a detailed look some of the best calcium-rich foods available.
Cheese is a wonderful source of calcium in comparison to other dairy products. Parmesan cheese contains the highest amount of calcium at 1109 mg every 100 grams. Moreover, many varieties of cheese are also rich in protein. The low lactose content in cheese makes it lighter on the stomach for those with lactose intolerance.
This is one of the best known sources of calcium. Whether it is cow’s milk or goat’s milk, there is around 275 grams of calcium per cup. Milk is also easily absorbed by the body and widely available. A low fat version of milk can be consumed in order to maintain a healthy body. In fact low fat milk has slightly more calcium than whole milk.
Believe it or not, yoghurt has more calcium than milk. This dairy product is also rich in probiotic bacteria, and delivers about 45% of the recommended daily intake of calcium in one cup. Low fat yogurt, similar to low fat milk, has a higher concentration of calcium. It also helps in metabolism and has been shown to reduce the risk of disease like Type 2 diabetes.
This fish is jam-packed full of calcium due to its delicate bones which can be eaten. It is also an excellent source of omega fatty acids and protein. 100 grams of sardine provides 382 mg of calcium.
5} Canned tuna
Similar to sardines, this fish is also a great source of calcium. One serving (120 g) of canned tuna contains 34 mg of calcium. Moreover it has been shown to improve functioning of blood vessels, aiding in weight loss and is a rich source of Vitamin B.
6} Dark leafy greens
Spinach, kale, collards, aragula, watercress and turnips are wonderful plant sources of calcium. They help to strengthen the bones with the presence of magnesium and Vitamin K. One drawback of leafy greens as a calcium source is that some of them, like spinach, contain high amounts of oxalic acid. This oxalic acid makes calcium absorption difficult for the body.
Read more: Foods That are Rich in Vitamin K
7} Beans and lentils
These fibre-rich foods have iron, magnesium, folate and also good amounts of calcium. One cup of cooked wing beans has 244 mg of calcium. Beans and lentils have also been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol and reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Canned salmon is not only calcium-rich, but also a fantastic way to get sufficient Vitamin D. 85 grams of canned salmon has around 181 grams of calcium. Canned salmon is a better source of calcium than the fresh alternative because the calcium-rich bones are incorporated into it.
Read more: 21 Foods That are Rich in Vitamin D
A lesser known but abundant source of calcium is figs. 100 grams of dried uncooked figs contains about 162 mg of calcium. These help to promote density of bones. Figs are also rich in fibre, essential minerals, Vitamin K and B6.
One of the best calcium-rich foods, one almond contains around 3.2 mg of calcium. They are also an abundant source of healthy fats. Almonds are also frequently consumed in a healthy diet in order to promote weight loss and lower cholesterol levels.
Another unexpected addition to the list, this Vitamin-C rich fruit is also rich in calcium. One medium sized version of this fruit contains about 65mg of calcium. Oranges are also rich in fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. Orange juice fortified with iron and calcium is a great snack or breakfast option along with the main meal.
Read more: 21 Foods That are Rich in Zinc
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds and celery seeds are wonderful sources of calcium. They are also rich in healthy fats, protein and omega fatty acids. 100 grams of sesame seeds accounts for a whopping 95% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Moreover, due to their pleasant texture, they can be easily added to salads or sandwiches.
This is a great option for vegans to get an adequate amount of calcium in their diet. It is made by drying and blending soya beans. High in proteins and low in fat, this food contains 350 mg of calcium for every 100 grams.
Soy beans within the pod are known as edamame. 1 cup of cooked edamame beans contains 97 mg of calcium. These are also powerhouses of protein, carbohydrate, fibre and amino acids. They are also gluten-free and low in calories.
This green vegetable has slightly less calcium as compared to dark leafy vegetables. It is also rich in Vitamin C, fibre and nutrients. 100 mg of broccoli contains 47 mg of calcium.
It may sound strange, but there are many varieties of seaweed which are edible. They are full of calcium and iodine. It also have tremendous amounts of micronutrients like magnesium and folate.
Read more: 27 Foods That are Rich in Folic Acid
This is a great option for those who have lactose intolerance, or for vegans. Soy milk contains 60 mg of calcium per cup. It is made by soaking and grinding soya beans after which it is boiled and filtered. It is a good source of healthy fats, proteins and fibre.
18} Black-eyed peas
These white legumes comprise of 36% of recommended dietary allowance of calcium. It is also rich in copper, potassium, manganese and iron.
19} Almond butter
100 grams of almond butter contains 375 mg of calcium. It has no cholesterol and is high in fat. It is altogether a much better option than peanut butter for sandwiches and snacks.
20} Chinese Cabbage (Bok Choy)
This vegetable has 105 mg of calcium for every 100 grams. One cup of this vegetable has only 9 calories, but it is loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre.
The humble lady’s finger is a surprising addition to this list. 1 cup of okra delivers about 82 mg of calcium. Moreover it is low in calories and high in fibre.
As you can see, there are lots of foods that are rich in calcium. If you don’t like milk or if you are allergic to dairy products, you can get your daily dose of calcium from other sources. Vitamin D is also needed by the body in order to absorb calcium properly. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need a higher amount of calcium. Some studies have shown that consuming calcium-rich foods regularly can help to ward off obesity as well. Taking all these points into consideration, it is important to consume at least one of the following calcium-rich foods every day to keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong.