Top 12 Calcium-Rich Foods to Get Your Daily Dose

Calcium is a nutrient necessary for the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones, nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes.

While rare, a deficiency in calcium can lead to numbness in fingers and toes, muscle cramps, convulsions, lethargy, loss of appetite, and abnormal heart rhythms. A long term deficiency can lead to bone loss (osteopenia) and fragile bones (osteoporosis).

Conversely, excess calcium (particularly from supplements) can lead to kidney stones, calcification of soft tissue, and increased risk of vascular diseases like stroke and heart attack.

Calcium is an important mineral that you may not be getting enough of. While dairy products tend to pack the highest amounts of this mineral, plenty of other good sources exist — many of which are plant-based.

You can easily meet your calcium needs by eating from the diverse list of foods in this article.

Here are 10 calcium rich foods just for you!

1Dark Leafy Vegetable

Health Benefits of Dark Leafy Green Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, spinach, turnips, bok choy (Chinese cabbage), cabbage and asparagus are just a few of the leafy calcium-rich vegetables that will add the necessary daily calcium dose to your meal. Apart from calcium, they also offer other vital vitamins and minerals. Include them in your salads to also get replenished with folate. Chop up broccoli and stir fry them or add them to your fried rice to make a great dish. One cup of broccoli gives you about 47mg of calcium and much more Vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. They also work as roughage and improve digestion. So from now on, GO GREEN!

2Firm Tofu

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Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness; it can be silken, soft, firm, or extra firm. Beyond these broad categories, there are many varieties of tofu.

3Dried Herbs

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Ask for more of those dried herb toppings from your pizza delivery guy to hike up your blood calcium levels. Spice up your pizza with more flavored dried herbs. All herbs including basil, rosemary, oregano, and mint not only add taste to your food but can also help increase your calcium levels. One tablespoon of dried thyme provides 51.03mg of calcium, rosemary (42.24 mg), basil (47.04 mg).

4Dry Fruits

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Go nuts over dried fruits! They offer about 100mg calcium in each serving. Almonds and dried figs can be used as excellent alternatives to fortify your diet with calcium. Try eating 5 dried figs a day and add about 135mg of calcium to your body. They are extremely filling and can help those who are trying to lose weight.

5Yogurt

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Yogurt, is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as yogurt cultures. It is one of the best sources of calcium, providing 30% of the RDI in one cup (245 grams). It’s also a good source of protein and other nutrients.

6Fish

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Nothing fishy about fishes as far as calcium goes. Eat lots of fish, especially the smaller fish, the ones with edible bones. On your next visit to the supermarket, try buying canned fish products. The bones soften and become easier to eat through the process of canning. The plus point about fish is that they are also laden with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D, so they activate maximum absorption of calcium. Add these canned fish portions in a salad or as a side dish to make your meal calcium loaded.

7Oatmeal

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Why just use oatmeal as a breakfast recipe, use it in other exciting ways too. Each serving of oatmeal can give your body about 100-150mg of calcium. It is also a healthy alternative and can also be used by people who are on a diet. For maximum benefits opt for the natural oats instead of the instant variety. Enjoy oatmeal without added sugar. Oats can also work as a delicious and healthy snack option.

8Soy Milk

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 This is particularly true for all those who are lactose intolerant or do not like the taste of cow milk. Switch to soy milk and also get the benefits of added calcium in your milk. Take your cereal with soy milk or, next time you are at a coffee shop ask for a grand soy latte instead. They have more protein as well as calcium compared to cow’s milk.

9Sesame Seeds

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Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum, also called benne.

They are brimming with calcium, with about a 100g of sesame seeds containing 975mg of calcium. Choose bread and burger buns topped with sesame seeds for more calcium in your diet. Try using sesame oil in your cooking. Cook dishes that use sesame seeds as an ingredient.

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Whey protein is found in milk and has been extensively studied for its health benefits. It’s an excellent protein source and full of quickly digested amino acids. If you’d like to try whey protein, you can easily find many varieties online.

Several studies have linked whey-rich diets to weight loss and improved blood sugar control.

Whey is also exceptionally rich in calcium — a 1-ounce (28-gram) scoop of whey protein powder isolate contains 200 mg, or 20% of the RDI.

11White Beans

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 These and other legumes, in general, make an excellent source of calcium as well as iron. White beans provide 132mg of calcium per cup. Add them to your rice, pasta or grind them up and make hummus out of it. Black beans, kidney beans, baked beans are all good choices for calcium. Boil these legumes and add them to your salads for a bit of crunch as well as nutrition.

12Orange Juice 

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Kickstart the day by drinking a glass of orange juice. Oranges contain calcium and vitamin C and provide you with the energy to get your day going. Try squeezing fresh oranges and making your juice at home instead of depending on store purchased tetra packs. Oranges are also high in potassium, beta carotene and Vitamin A. Try replacing soda drinks with orange juice or other fruit juices. Soda drinks contain phosphates that bind with calcium and prevent its absorption.