Top 15 foods to increase calcium intake

foods to increase calcium intake
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Calcium holds the key to bone health. Knowing how to increase calcium intake through foods is vital to staying healthy.

Calcium is very vital for our health. Besides keeping our bone and teeth healthy, it helps to transmit signals through our nerves, clotting of blood, contraction of muscles, and regulate the rhythm of our heart. Food is the best source of calcium and doctors also recommend meeting your daily calcium intake through foods. This is because it is easier for the body to absorb calcium from foods than from supplements. This article aims to round-up top 15 foods that increase calcium intake and fulfill your calcium requirement.

Foods that helps increase calcium intake

Besides being essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, calcium is also important for a healthy heart, muscle functions, and transmission of neuro signals through nerves. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1000 mg for adults from 19 to 50 years. Women over 50 and both men and women over 70 are recommended 1200 mg of calcium intake daily. Kids from 9 to 18 years are recommended 1300 mg. The following dairy and non-dairy foods are perfect for increasing your calcium intake.

1. Seeds

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Seeds are a powerhouse for nutrition. Many of the seeds including celery, chia, poppy, and sesame seeds are rich in calcium. They are also a great source for proteins and healthy fats like plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals like copper, iron, and manganese.

2. Cheese

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Made from milk, most cheeses are exceptionally rich in calcium content. An ounce of Parmesan cheese can supply one-third of the daily calcium requirement of an adult. Taking cheese is a good option as our body can absorb calcium in dairy products better than those from plant sources. As cheese is low in lactose, people having lactose intolerance can have this. One must also consider fat and calorie intake while having cheese.

3. Yogurt

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Yogurt also happens to be a very good source of calcium. Containing a large number of probiotics, they have many other health benefits as well. A cup of low-fat yogurt can supply around 45% of the body’s calcium requirement.

4. Sardines, Salmon, and Tuna

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These fishes contain a load of calcium. Other than being a rich source of calcium, they can also supply high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin D required for the absorption of calcium in the body.

5. Eggs

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Eggs are also a very good source of calcium. The serving size of 50 grams delivers 27 mg of calcium. Moreover, eggs contain a nice amount of Vitamin D in the yolks. This makes it an ideal food for improving calcium intake.

6. Beans and lentils

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These contain a decent amount of calcium. The serving size of 80 grams of raw or 200 grams of cooked white beans delivers 132 mg of calcium. And, the same serving size of lentils can deliver 40 mg of calcium. They also contain folates and other minerals.

7. Almonds

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Almonds have the highest calcium content among all nuts. 30 grams of almonds can supply 75 mg of calcium. It also has healthy fats, protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. These make it a good food. If you do not like almonds in nut form, you may have almond butter; they deliver the same calcium benefit.

8. Green vegetables

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These are very healthy and contain a high amount of calcium. The serving size of 120 grams of Cress, Broccoli, and Rhubarb contains 188 mg, 112 mg, and 103 mg of calcium respectively. These are also rich in fibers, other minerals, and vitamin K needed for the metabolism of the bones. But some of them are also rich in oxalates that impair calcium absorption in the body. So, one must consider that while taking these.

9. Fortified Foods and drinks

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Consuming fortified foods is also a great way to increase your calcium intake. 8 ounces of fortified soy milk or fortified orange juice can supply 300 mg of calcium. Some types of fortified cereal can supply 1000 mg of calcium per serving. As our body cannot absorb the daily requirement for an adult in one shot, one should spread the intake throughout the day.

10. Whey protein

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This is also a rich source of calcium. One ounce of whey protein can deliver 200 mg of calcium. This is 20% of the recommended daily allowances. As whey proteins contain essential amino acids and low in lactose this is beneficial for health.

11. Tofu

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The serving size of 120 grams Tofu can supply 126 mg of calcium. And the fortified version can deliver 205 mg of calcium per 4 ounces (112 grams) of serving size.

12. Dried Figs

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Dried figs are an excellent source of calcium. They also have high fiber content and plenty of antioxidants. The serving size of 60 grams of dried figs can supply 96 mg of calcium. Moreover, these are also a great source of potassium and vitamin K.

13. Milk

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You can never avoid milk when talking about improving calcium intake. Milk happens to be a cheap and most available source of calcium. Moreover, milk also contains ample protein, vitamin A, and vitamin D. A cup of cow’s milk can provide 300 mg of calcium.

14. Soy Milk

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Soy milk is also rich in calcium. A 200 ml cup of calcium-enriched soy milk contains 240 mg of calcium. This also contains a decent amount of Vitamin D and less saturated fat than whole milk.

15. Edamame

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These are young soybeans mostly available in pods and a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of frozen or cooked edamame contains 98 mg of calcium which is 10% of the daily requirement. This is also a good source of protein, folate, and fiber.

The Bottom line

Calcium is the primary bone-forming mineral. Adequate calcium intake is vital for achieving and maintaining optimal bone density. Now that you are here, you know the foods that can give you a generous amount of Calcium. Include them in your diet plan and stay healthy.


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Renu is a Clinical Dietitian and Diabetes Educator. In her last 15 years of practice, she has focused on two things: making her clients learn the concepts of "right diet for them" and giving them "Happy to follow" diet programs by offering healthy alternatives, very close to their regular eating habits. This approach resulted in permanent change in the dietary habits and significant improvement in health status for over 7000 clientele of Renu. Apart from Weight Management programs, she has been successful in dietary treatment of diabetes, thyroid related issues, gut health related issues like acid reflux, constipation and IBS, PCOS and other hormonal imbalances, child nutrition, sports nutrition and all lifestyle related disorders.



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