Calcium is one of the most important minerals that our body needs on a daily basis.
It not only strengthens our bones and teeth but having an adequate amount of calcium can improve muscle signaling, nervous system, and various other health benefits.
In a report published by The National Osteoporosis Society revealed that adult must consume at least 700 mg of calcium as a daily intake.
But, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is 1000 mg for an adult. Although, for 50 plus adults the recommended daily intake is 1200 mg.
For children, it is advisable to have 1300 mg of calcium as a recommended daily intake (RDI).
However, most of the population around the world is found to be deficient in calcium.
Generally, the most known Calcium-rich food are milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu. Similarly, we can also include leafy green vegetables, legumes, dried fruit and seafood in your diet.
Best Calcium-Rich Foods
Here, we have listed topmost calcium-rich food that is considered to contribute maximum to your daily intake.
Seeds like chia, sesame, and poppy
Though the seeds are tiny they are highly nutritious as well. Seeds like poppy seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds are high in calcium.
It is estimated that one cup of chia seed contains 631 mg of calcium. While, if you take one tablespoon of poppy seeds and sesame seeds, you can fulfill 13% and 9% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
A dairy product like Cheese, Yogurt and Milk
Milk products are always an excellent source of calcium.
It has also been said that the absorption of calcium from dairy products is more compared to plant-based products.
Most cheeses are calcium-rich especially Parmesan cheese which can fulfill 33% of the RDI. If you take cottage cheese you will get a good amount of protein along with calcium.
If you take one cup of yogurt on a daily basis then you can get 30% of the RDI along with probiotic, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins B2 and B12.
While low-fat yogurt contains the most calcium, Greek yogurt can deliver less calcium.
Milk is known for its best and cheapest source of calcium. One cup of cow milk can give you 276-352 mg of calcium depending upon whether you consume whole fat milk or non-fat milk.
Fat milk is always the highest source of calcium and is also absorbed well in our bodies.
Soy products like soy milk, tofu, soybean
Soy products are also one of the good sources of calcium. If you take one block of tofu in your diet then you will get whopping 1624 mg of calcium which is way more than your daily intake.
That’s why tofu is known for its exceptionally high amount of calcium.
While soy milk is not a good source of calcium but is a great alternative for lactose-intolerant people.
But most of the soybean products are genetically modified (GMO). In U.S. 94% of soy acreage is genetically modified. So, if you like to consume then go for organic soy milk (non-GMO).
Green Leafy Vegetables like spinach, kale
Green leafy vegetables contain a good amount of calcium.
A cup of kale can give 101 mg of calcium while per bunch of broccoli can give you 300 mg of calcium.
Also, Asian food like Bok Choy has 882 mg of calcium per head.
Other vegetables include collard greens, turnip are also a good source of calcium naturally.
Nuts and Dried fruit like Almonds, figs
We all know that nuts are a good source of minerals and provide you with healthy fats. But, nuts like almonds, cashew nuts are also good sources of calcium.
Consuming one ounce of almond (28 g) can give you 8% of your RDI. Along with that, you will also get a good amount of magnesium, manganese, vitamin E and protein.
If you take figs as a source of calcium then it will contribute 5% of the RDI. Moreover, figs are also a good source of antioxidants, fiber, potassium and vitamin K.
Legumes like black beans, kidney bean
Legumes are also calcium-rich foods along with necessary minerals. If you take one cup of black beans then you can get 294 mg of calcium.
Similarly, kidney beans, moth beans, winged beans, moong are packed with calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
Seafood like salmon, sardines
Kinds of seafood like sardines, salmon are loaded with calcium.
So, the intake of 3.75 ounces (92 gram) of sardines can give you 35% of the RDI and intake of 3 ounces (85 g) of salmon can give you 21% of the RDI.
Along with seafood, especially oily fish has high-quality protein and omega 3 fatty acid that is required for good functioning of brain and heart and for vibrant skin.
Ancient grain like Amaranth
Ancient grain like Amaranth are just packed with vitamin, minerals, and proteins.
One cup of Amaranth contains 116 mg of calcium or 12% of the RDI.
If you consume Amaranth leaves, it will give 28% of the RDI per cooked cup.
Important notes for Calcium intake
- Always take calcium from natural sources which we have listed above. Avoid calcium pills as supplements, fortified products as a source of calcium.
- If you are deficient in magnesium, vitamin D3 you will not able to absorb calcium. So, try to have foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, which will help to mobilize your calcium.
- Also, the intake of vitamin k2 rich foods aid in the absorption of calcium easily.
A dairy product is an excellent source of calcium but plant-based foods also contribute as a good source of calcium.
You can easily meet your recommended daily intake if you take wholesome food.
Also, you should always give preference to the natural source of calcium and try to get rid of calcium pills and fortified products.
Moreover, you must also look for other minerals and vitamins like magnesium, Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 for maximum absorption of calcium in the body.