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BlogNutritionThese 35 Foods are The Best Sources of Calcium

These 35 Foods are The Best Sources of Calcium

10 mins read
Viktoriia Volyk
Written by Viktoriia Volyk on November 02, 2022
Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Ievgeniia Dobrynina is the Head of Nutrition and a fact checker at Unimeal.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

Why do you need calcium? The response: it is not only about bone health. You must provide daily calcium requirements by age for weight management, heart health, and preventing teeth from diseases.

What does calcium do for the body

functions of calcium
functions of calcium

From childhood, we have known the main benefit of calcium: it strengthens bones and teeth. Pretty sure your parents or grandparents gave you cornflakes with milk for breakfast or proposed a glass of milk with cookies as a snack to provide the necessary daily dose of calcium. And no wonder growing children and teenagers need more calcium than adults to support their growing bones. But the consumption of calcium is essential not only for kids. After the age of 30, our bones start losing calcium. The loss of calcium leads to osteoporosis and, as a result, to fractures.

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Keeping the health of bones and teeth is not the only positive effect of calcium. It helps to normalize heart rhythm. The particles of this microelement have an electrical charge which enters the heart muscle cells during each beat and affects their electrical activity.

Furthermore, calcium is good for regulating blood clotting and relieving insomnia: it has a sedative effect that relaxes your body and helps you fall asleep more quickly.

One more pleasant bonus of calcium is weight control. Some studies show that increasing calcium from 400-1000 mg daily for one year resulted in weight loss of  4.9 kg2.

How much calcium do you need per day?

In addition to various vitamins, our body needs calcium at any age. Consuming adequate amounts of calcium is essential to your general health, muscles, and locomotor system. A daily dose of calcium in older adults with osteoporosis helps strengthen bones and prevent fractures and brittleness. 

calcium daily dose
calcium daily dose

The amount of calcium you need daily depends on age and sex. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the daily recommendations for men and women aged 19 to 50 years are the same – about 1,000 mg of calcium daily. But Harvard medical school says that the daily consumption of at least 700 mg of calcium is enough for maintaining body health. 

For pregnant or lactating women and adult women older than 51 years, it is recommended to consume 1,200 mg of calcium daily. An interesting fact was found in a 2015 study: women with PMS lack vitamin D, Ca, and Mg. It means that increasing the dosage of them maybe can help with menstrual pain.

vitamin D
vitamin D

Remember that calcium is always paired with vitamin D. Even with normal calcium intake, but with a lack of vitamin D, it will be poorly absorbed. To naturally increase vitamin D in your body, eat more mushrooms, fatty fish, seafood and spend more time in sunlight. You can increase its indicators in the blood by taking vitamin D supplements, but first, take a blood test and consult your doctor.

Top 35 сalcium-rich foods

Your body does not make calcium on its own, so you must get this mineral through other sources such as nutritional supplements or foods.

We prepared a list of calcium-rich products you can include in your diet to get a daily calcium requirement.

calcium foods
calcium foods
Find сalcium-rich foods and how much calcium in them

Milk, 3.25% milkfat

One of the main health benefits of dairy products is a high calcium level, which maintains bone density and normalizes heart rhythm. 100 g of ordinary milk contains 123 mg of calcium.

Soy milk

If you don't drink cow's milk, you can replace it with soy milk because it contains even more calcium than regular milk. 100 g of soy milk has 155 mg of calcium.

Almond milk

Almond milk acts as an antioxidant and destroys free radicals. It is also rich in phosphorus and calcium, needed for healthy bones, and affects many biological processes in the body. 100 g of almond milk contains 158 mg of calcium.

Kefir 

A beverage made from fermented milk, is tasty and nutritious. It can improve your bone health, boost metabolism, and help you lose weight. 100 g of kefir contains 130 mg of calcium.

Ice cream, vanilla taste

Good news for sweet lovers: to increase the calcium level in your body, you can eat vanilla ice cream. Ice cream is rich in proteins, fats, and calcium. 100 g of vanilla ice cream provides 128 mg of calcium to your organism.

Greek yogurt 

One more dairy product rich in calcium is Greek yogurt. It enhances your immune system and strengthens bones. It also gives you a sense of fullness because it is high in fiber. 100 g of Greek yogurt has 111 mg of calcium.

Ricotta

Ricotta cheese is one of the healthiest kinds: it is light and contains less salt and fat than others. Through all of this, Ricotta is a perfect choice for a sensitive stomach. 100 g of Ricotta includes 224 mg of calcium.

Mozzarella

This kind of cheese is low in fat and sodium. It is a good source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus. You can cook mozzarella with tomatoes as an appetizer or add it to other main dishes. 100 g of mozzarella has 693 mg of calcium.

Cheddar

Like other cheese varieties, cheddar cheese is an excellent source of calcium, which helps to prevent the development of osteoporosis. 100 g of cheddar cheese contains 707 mg of calcium. 

American cheese

American cheese is a type of processed cheese. It is salt and has a melted, creamy texture. It is often used for cooking a juicy, tasty burger. 100 g of American cheese has 508 mg of calcium. 

Feta cheese

This kind of cheese deserves to be a part of your weekly meals. You can cook a traditional Greek salad, Olive, focaccia with olives, tomatoes, and feta, or add feta cheese to plates of pasta. 100 g of feta contains 371 mg of calcium.

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is made from goat's milk. It is high in protein and includes beneficial minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. 100 g of cottage cheese has 103 mg of calcium. 

Sardines

Not only dairy foods are rich in calcium. Small oily fish like canned sardines are a great source of this mineral. 100 g of sardines provides 382 mg of calcium. Additionally, they have the highest levels of omega-3 and support the health of your heart, bones, and immunity. 

Salmon

This popular fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, a heart-healthy fat that decreases inflammation and supports brain function4. 100 g of salmon has 26 mg of calcium.

Herring

Like salmon, herring also provides omega-3 fatty acids to your body. This kind of fish is rich in lean protein. 100 g of herring contains 57 mg of calcium. 

Broccoli

Ffied, baked, or steamed broccoli is beneficial for your health. 100g of broccoli has 47mg of calcium. According to the American National Cancer Institute, broccoli is also a superfood that helps to reduce the risk of cancer and prevent bladder, breast, colon, liver, and stomach cancers.

Kale

Chopped kale in a salad or steamed as a side dish can be a great source of calcium. 100 g of leaf cabbage provides 254 mg of this mineral. Kale is packed with antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging.

Collards

This plant is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The consumption of collard greens helps to detoxify your body. 100 g of collards provides 232 mg of calcium to your organism. 

Orange

To get a dose of calcium, eat a peeled orange or drink a glass of orange juice. 100 g of orange contains 40 mg of calcium. A single glass of fresh orange juice has approximately 300 mg of calcium.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a great source of essential antioxidants, which provide anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. 100 mg of rhubarb gives 86 mg of calcium to your body.

Fried tofu

Prepared from soy milk, tofu is very healthy. It improves memory and brain health. Tofu is rich in fiber and calcium. 100g of fried tofu contains 372 mg of calcium.

White beans 

They are full of protein and fiber, and include some beneficial micronutrients like folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium. 100 g of white beans contains 240 mg of calcium. The consumption of white beans protects your body against chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer

Okra

It is a great source of magnesium, folate, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins C, K1, and A. According to a 2013 study, the consumption of okra or okra extract helps to decrease blood sugar levels. 100 g of cooked okra contains 77 mg of calcium.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are cholesterol and gluten-free. They are good for the skin, improve the digestive system and boost your metabolism. 100 g of chia seeds has 631 mg of calcium. 

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are famous for the fact that they support the immune system and increase the ability to fight off viruses. 100 g of sunflower seeds have mg of calcium, but nutritionists recommend eating no more than 30 g per day. 

Figs

Figs are very sweet, so they can even healthily replace dessert. They are a source of vitamin K and antioxidants. 100 g of figs contains 35 mg of calcium.

Canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are low in added sugar and fat. They provide vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene that reduces the risk of cancer and heart diseases. 100 g of canned tomatoes have mg of calcium.

Chickpeas 

Often used for vegetarian and vegan dishes, chickpeas have many health benefits, such as improvement of the digestive system and reducing the risk of diseases. 100 g of chickpeas provides 57 mg of calcium to your body.

Amaranth grains

If you have gluten intolerance, choose amaranth grains. They are gluten-free and high in fiber, protein, and micronutrients. Amaranth grains can reduce cholesterol levels and increase weight loss. 100 g of amaranth grains contains 47 mg of calcium.

Quinoa

You can eat quinoa anytime: for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it is better to consume it at night. Quinoa has a high level of magnesium and protein, which is why it can help you to relax and fall asleep faster. 100 g of quinoa contains 17 mg of calcium.

Spinach

This leafy green vegetable contains many vitamins A, C, and K1 and minerals like iron, folic acid, and calcium. 100 g of spinach provides 99 mg of calcium to your body. Spinach improves eye health, prevents cancer5, and moderates blood pressure levels.

Almonds

Almonds are cholesterol and gluten-free; they are rich in unsaturated fats, fiber, and phytonutrients. They contain calcium and phosphorus, which keep your bones and teeth healthy. 100 g of almonds has 269 mg of calcium.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are packed with nutrients: magnesium, copper, zinc, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Thanks to this composition, they reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and improve brain function. 100 g of Brazil nuts contains 160 mg of calcium.

Edamame

This Chinese vegetable is rich in healthy fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin K. It helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and cleanse the body of cholesterol2. 100 g of frozen edamame contains 63 mg of calcium.

Lentils

They can be different in color: black, yellow, green or red, but in any color they provide your body health benefits. They are good for the heart and manage cholesterol-level and blood pressure. 100 g of lentils has 35 mg of calcium.

FoodsCa/100g
Quinoa17 mg
Salmon26 mg
Canned tomatoes34 mg
Figs35 mg
Lentils35 mg
Orange40 mg
Broccoli47 mg
Amaranth grains47 mg
Herring57 mg
Chickpeas57 mg
Edamame63 mg
Okra77 mg
Sunflower Seeds78 mg
Rhubarb86 mg
Spinach99 mg
Cottage cheese103 mg
Milk, 3.25% milk fat123 mg
Ice cream, vanilla128 mg
Kefir130 mg
Soy milk155 mg
Almond milk158 mg
Brazil nuts160 mg
Ricotta184 mg
Collards232 mg
White beans240 mg
Kale254 mg
Almonds269 mg
Feta cheese371 mg
Fried tofu372 mg
Sardines382 mg
American cheese508 mg
Chia seeds631 mg
Mozzarella693 mg
Mozzarella707 mg

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Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

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Shapses SA, Heshka S, Heymsfield SB. 2004 Feb. Effect of calcium supplementation on weight and fat loss in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. DOI:14764774.
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Ombra MN, d'Acierno A, Nazzaro F, Riccardi R, Spigno P, Zaccardelli M, Pane C, Maione M, Fratianni F. 2016 Dec 25. Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of the Extracts of Twelve Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Endemic Ecotypes of Southern Italy before and after Cooking. Oxid Med Cell Longev. PMID:28105248.
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Fan S, Guo L, Zhang Y, Sun Q, Yang B, Huang C. 2013 Nov. Okra polysaccharide improves metabolic disorders in high-fat diet-induced obese C57BL/6 mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. PMID:23894043.
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Linnewiel-Hermoni K, Khanin M, Danilenko M, Zango G, Amosi Y, Levy J, Sharoni Y. 2015 Apr 15. The anti-cancer effects of carotenoids and other phytonutrients resides in their combined activity. Arch Biochem Biophys. PMID:25711533.