Calcium-Rich Foods: Eat Up
Stronger bones and healthier teeth are something we all want – especially as we age! These calcium-rich foods (among many others out there as well) are a great way to help you add more calcium to your diet and ensure you get your daily allotment!
Add these calcium-rich foods to your diet
Calcium is a vital component when it comes to the healthy growth and production of strong teeth and bones.
Calcium is also responsible for nerve signaling, the contraction of our muscles, and even the secretion of certain hormones and enzymes.
If you have a calcium deficiency, you can endure symptoms like numbness in your fingers and toes, cramps in your muscles, lethargy, loss of appetite, and even convulsions and abnormal heart rhythms.
That said, too little calcium is bad for you and too much isn’t so hot either, with the symptoms of calcium overload being kidney stones, soft tissue calcification, and an increased risk of vascular diseases like strokes and heart attacks.
So where do we get our calcium from – apart from things like calcium supplements made from algae?
The vast majority of the calcium in the world is found in dark leafy green vegetables and in dairy products.
Some evidence has been created which demonstrates that there are certain oxalates in leafy greens which can hinder the absorption of calcium but they are still a great source of calcium overall, and the calculated daily value that is associated with leafy greens takes into account bioavailability and absorption.
We’ve created a handy reference list of the top ten calcium-rich foods including the amount in the percentage of the recommended daily value (DV) which is calculated at 1000mg.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
We chose to look at curly kale here, and the following values were found for watercress overall:
|Calcium in 100g (Raw)||1 Cup Chopped (34g)||3 leaves (25g)|
|140mg (14% DV)||47.6mg (5% DV)||35mg (3.5% DV)|
There are a number of other greens that are high in calcium, and they are:
- Watercress – 12%
- Dandelion greens – 10%
- Turnip greens – 10%
- Arugula – 6%
- Collard greens – 5%
Always make sure that you’re trying to buy organic wherever possible and that you’re working to buy locally grown produce. If possible and you have a spare square meter or two of soil, why not consider planting in some of these little greens yourself?
They’re all very easy to grow and seem to thrive with very little attention.
2. Low Fat Cheese
We took a look at mozzarella cheese here, the low-fat variety, and found the following:
|Calcium in 100g||1 Cup Shredded (113g)||1 Ounce (28g)|
|961mg (95% DV)||1086mg (109% DV)||269mg (27% DV)|
There are plenty of other cheeses that are high in calcium and the values for these are:
- Reduced-fat parmesan – 31%
- Low-fat swiss cheese – 27%
- Fat-free cheddar – 25%
- Fat-free American cheese – 22%
- Regular full-fat swiss cheese – 22%
- Regular cheddar cheese – 19%
- Regular full-fat mozzarella – 14%
When you’re choosing cheeses, be sure to opt for the right fat levels for your body and your diet.
3. Low Fat Yogurt
Dairy products are a great source of calcium. Here’s what we found:
|Calcium in 100g||1 cup (245g)||Per Fluid Ounce (31g)|
|125mg (13% DV)||306mg (31% DV)||39mg (4% DV)|
Other dairy products that are high in calcium include:
- Full fat yogurt – 49%
- Low Fat Milk – 45%
4. Chinese Cabbage (Pak Choi, Bok Choy)
Another leafy green that is great in calcium, here are the values:
|Calcium in 100g (Raw)||1 Cup Shredded (70g)||1 Head (840g)|
|105mg (11% DV)||74mg (7% DV)||882mg (88% DV)|
Other cabbages that are high in calcium are:
- Green Cabbage Cooked (4% DV)
- Red Leaf Cabbage Cooked (3% DV).
This soy product is super for your calcium levels. Here’s the lowdown on its calcium levels:
|Calcium in 100g (Raw)||1/2 Cup Raw (124g)||1/2 Cup Fried (124g)|
|350mg (35% DV)||434mg (43% DV)||1192mg (119% DV)|
You don’t just have to eat tofu – here are some other soy products and their levels:
- Nonfat Soy Milk – plus added calcium and vitamins A and D (13%)
- Unsweetened Soy Milk – plus added calcium and vitamins (13%)
6. Cooked Okra
This tasty green vegetable is a great source of calcium – pop some into a soup today for a boost:
|Calcium in 100g||1 Cup Sliced (160g)||8 Pods (85g)|
|77mg (8% DV)||124mg (12% DV)||65mg (7% DV)|
This cruciferous vegetable is going to help you out with your calcium levels easily:
|Calcium in 100g||1 Cup Chopped (91g)||1 Cup Cooked (156g)|
|47mg (5% DV)||43mg (4% DV)||62mg (6% DV)|
- In addition to being high in calcium, broccoli is also very low in calories and fat.
- This makes it great diet food.
8. Green Beans
Easy to cook and always fresh and tasty, green beans are a great source of calcium and are very low in fat too:
|Calcium in 100g (Raw)||1 Cup Raw (110g)||Per Cup Cooked (125g)|
|37mg (4% DV)||41mg (4% DV)||55mg (6% DV)|
Load up on these tasty snack treats – just remember not to eat the whole bag!
|Calcium in 100g||1 Cup Whole (143g)||1 Ounce (28g)|
|264mg (26% DV)||378mg (38% DV)||74mg (7% DV)|
10. Canned Sardines with bones
Tasty, nutritious, easy to prepare, and very good for you, this humble ocean treat is also jammed full of calcium:
|Calcium in 100g||1 Cup Drained (149g)||1 Ounce (28g)|
|383mg (38% DV)||569mg (57% DV)||107mg (11% DV)|
I hope you can use this as a handy calcium-rich foods guide for ensuring that you’re meeting your daily calcium requirements.