Calcium-Rich Foods: Calcium is not only the most abundant mineral in the body but is also very important to keep your body functioning in a healthy manner. To prevent calcium deficiency and help keep your calcium levels at a good level, you can eat dairy, as well as a number of other foods.
Calcium-Rich Foods, For most adults, it’s recommended to consume at least 1,300 mg of calcium per day, though certain groups require a higher amount, including adolescents, postmenopausal women, and older adults.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Although dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are especially high in calcium, many dairy-free sources of calcium are available.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses, and many are high in calcium, including poppy, sesame, celery, and chia seeds.
For instance, 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of poppy seeds packs 127 mg of calcium, or 10% of the recommended Daily Value (DV).
Seeds also deliver protein and healthy fats. For example, chia seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Sesame seeds contain 7% of the DV for calcium in 1 tablespoon (9 grams), plus other minerals, including copper, iron, and manganese.
Many seeds are good sources of calcium and also deliver other important nutrients, such as protein and healthy fats. One tablespoon (9 grams) of poppy seeds contains 10% of the DV for calcium, while a serving of sesame seeds has 7% of the DV.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the most, with 242 mg — or 19% of the DV — per ounce (28 grams).
Softer cheeses tend to have less. For instance, 1 ounce (28 grams) of Brie only delivers 52 mg, or 4% of the DV. As a bonus, your body absorbs the calcium in dairy products more easily than that from plant sources.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Cheese also delivers protein. Cottage cheese has 23 grams of protein per cup.
What’s more, aged, hard cheeses are naturally low in lactose, making them easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Dairy may have additional health benefits. For example, one review of 31 studies suggests that increased dairy intake may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Calcium-Rich Foods, However, keep in mind that full fat cheese can be high in saturated fat and calories. Certain cheeses also contain a lot of sodium, which some people may need to limit.
Parmesan cheese packs 19% of the DV for calcium, while other types like Brie deliver around 4%. Despite being high in saturated fat and calories, eating dairy may lower your risk of heart disease.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Many types of yogurt are also rich in probiotics, a type of beneficial bacteria that can promote immune function, improve heart health, and enhance nutrient absorption.
One cup (245 grams) of plain yogurt contains 23% of the DV for calcium, as well as a hearty dose of phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins B2 and B12. Low fat yogurt may be even higher in calcium, with 34% of the DV in 1 cup (245 grams).
Calcium-Rich Foods, On the other hand, while Greek yogurt is a great way to get extra protein in your diet, it delivers less calcium than regular yogurt.
Calcium-Rich Foods, In addition to providing a wide array of nutrients, some research also shows that regular consumption of yogurt may be linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Yogurt is one of the best sources of calcium, providing up to 34% of the DV in 1 cup (245 grams). It’s also a good source of protein and other nutrients.
4. Sardines and canned salmon
Calcium-Rich Foods, Sardines and canned salmon are loaded with calcium, thanks to their edible bones.
A 3.75-ounce (92-gram) can of sardines packs 27% of the DV, and 3 ounces (85 grams) of canned salmon with bones has 19%.
Calcium-Rich Foods, While seafood may contain mercury, smaller fish such as sardines have low levels. In addition, both sardines and salmon have high levels of selenium, a mineral that can prevent and reverse mercury toxicity.
Sardines and canned salmon are exceptionally nutritious choices. A can of sardines gives you 27% of the DV for calcium, while 3 ounces (85 grams) of canned salmon packs 19%.
5. Beans and lentils
Some varieties also have decent amounts of calcium, including winged beans, which supply 244 mg, or 19% of the DV, in a single cooked cup (172 grams).
Calcium-Rich Foods, White beans are also a good source, with 1 cup (179 grams) of cooked white beans providing 12% of the DV. Other varieties of beans and lentils have less, ranging from around 3-4% of the DV per cup (175 grams).
Interestingly, beans are credited with many of the health benefits associated with plant-based diets. In fact, research suggests that beans may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Beans are highly nutritious. One cup (172 grams) of cooked wing beans delivers 19% of the DV for calcium, while other varieties provide around 3–12% for the same serving size.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Of all nuts, almonds are among the highest in calcium. Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of almonds, or about 23 nuts, delivers 6% of the DV.
Almonds also provide 3.5 grams of fiber per ounce (28 grams), as well as healthy fats and protein. In addition, they’re an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E. Eating nuts may also help lower blood pressure, body fat, and multiple other risk factors for metabolic disease.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Almonds are high in nutrients like healthy fats, protein, and magnesium. One ounce (28 grams) of almonds, or 23 nuts, delivers 6% of the DV for calcium.
7. Whey protein
Calcium-Rich Foods, Whey is a type of protein found in milk that has been well studied for its potential health benefits.
It’s also an excellent protein source and full of rapidly digested amino acids, which help promote muscle growth and recovery.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Interestingly, some studies have even linked whey-rich diets to increased weight loss and improved blood sugar management.
Whey is also exceptionally rich in calcium — a 1.2-ounce (33-gram) scoop of whey protein powder isolate contains approximately 160 mg, or 12% of the DV.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Whey protein is an exceptionally healthy protein source and contains approximately 12% of the DV for calcium in each 1.2-ounce (33-gram) scoop.
8. Leafy greens
Calcium-Rich Foods, Leafy green vegetables are incredibly healthy, and many of them are high in calcium, including collard greens, spinach, and kale.
For instance, 1 cup (190 grams) of cooked collard greens has 268 mg of calcium, or about 21% of the amount that you need in a day.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Note that some varieties, such as spinach, are high in oxalates, which are naturally occurring compounds that bind to calcium and impair its absorption.
Therefore, although spinach is rich in calcium, it’s not absorbed as well as other calcium-rich greens that are low in oxalates, such as kale and collard greens.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Some leafy greens are rich in calcium, including collard greens, which contain 21% of the DV in each cooked cup (190 grams). However, certain leafy greens contain oxalates, which can decrease the absorption of calcium.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Rhubarb is rich in fiber, vitamin K, calcium, and smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
It also contains prebiotic fiber, a type of fiber that can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Like spinach, rhubarb is high in oxalates, so much of the calcium is not absorbed. In fact, one 2015 study found that your body can only absorb around 5% of the calcium found in rhubarb.
Calcium-Rich Foods, On the other hand, even if you’re only absorbing a small amount, rhubarb is still a source of calcium, with 105 mg of calcium per cup (122 grams) of raw rhubarb, or about 8% of the DV.
Rhubarb is high in fiber, vitamin K, and other nutrients. It also contains calcium, although only a small amount is absorbed by the body.
10. Fortified foods
Calcium-Rich Foods, Fortified foods like cereals can make it easier to meet your daily calcium needs.
In fact, some types of cereal can deliver up to 1,000 mg (100% of the DV) per serving — and that’s before adding milk.
However, keep in mind that your body can’t absorb all that calcium at once, and it’s best to spread your intake throughout the day.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Flour and cornmeal may also be fortified with calcium. This is why some breads, tortillas, and crackers contain high amounts.
Grain-based foods are often fortified with calcium, including some breakfast cereals, tortillas, breads, and crackers.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Amaranth is a highly nutritious pseudocereal. It’s a good source of folate and very high in certain minerals, including manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth grain delivers 116 mg of calcium, or 9% of the DV.
Amaranth leaves contain even more, with 21% of the DV for calcium per cooked cup (132 grams), along with a good amount of vitamins A and C.
The seeds and leaves of amaranth are very nutritious. One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth provides 9% of the DV for calcium, while the leaves pack 21% per cup (132 grams).
12. Edamame and tofu
Calcium-Rich Foods, Edamame beans are young soybeans, often sold while still encased in the pod.
One cup (155 grams) of cooked edamame packs 8% of the DV for calcium. It’s also a good source of protein and delivers all of your daily folate in a single serving.
Calcium-Rich Foods, Tofu that has been prepared with calcium also has exceptionally high amounts, with over 66% of the DV for calcium in just half a cup (126 grams).
Calcium-Rich Foods, Tofu and edamame are both rich in calcium. Just half a cup (126 grams) of tofu prepared with calcium has 66% of the DV, while 1 cup (155 grams) of cooked edamame packs 8%.