We all know a glass of milk is one of the best sources of calcium, but there are many other ways to boost your intake of this marvellous mineral
Calcium is essential for strong bones, but milk isn’t the only essential source of this important mineral. Although milk and dairy products provide about half of the calcium in our diets,1 there are other foods that contain just as much – if not more – calcium than a glass of moo-juice.
We need 700mg of calcium a day – discover some surprising food sources below.
Calcium in dairy foods
Let’s start with the most well-known source: milk. A 200ml glass will provide 240mg of calcium, while a pot of low-fat fruit yoghurt (125ml) gives you 175mg of calcium.2, 3
But some cheeses are surprisingly rich in calcium. Just 30g of Edam – a matchbox-sized portion – gives you nearly 240mg, but parmesan provides the most calcium with 300mg per 30g.4,5 Cheeseboard, anyone?!
Up your tofu intake
Tofu is a vegetarian or vegan’s dream – not only is a great source of protein, it will give you 200mg of calcium per 120g.6 Try using it in a stir-fry, scrambled for breakfast, or making tofu tacos.
A quick, fruity fix
Don’t reach for the biscuits at 3pm; grab some dried fruit instead. Figs contain more calcium than any other dried fruit – just two will provide 100mg – while eight dried apricots provide an impressive 50mg.7 Serve it with Greek yoghurt for extra calcium, plus protein, too.8
Handpicked content: What can I do with dried fruit?
Nuts and seeds
Don’t be fooled by their miniscule size – just one serving of chia seeds (28g) sprinkled over yoghurt or added to a smoothie, packs a whopping 175mg of calcium.9
Almonds are bursting with calcium too, the richest source of all nuts. A small handful – about 10 almonds – will provide around 50mg of the mineral.10
Handpicked content: 3 wonderful recipes using almonds
Why rhubarb works
This tart-tasting fruit contains a lot of calcium, but be warned: your body can only absorb about 25% of the calcium in rhubarb.11 The good news is that it’s so rich in calcium that just one serving (240g) still gives you 87mg.12
Sounds like a rhubarb crumble, topped with chopped almonds and custard, is the perfect calcium-boosting combination…
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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1. British Nutrition Foundation. Minerals and trace elements. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/minerals-and-trace-elements.html?limit=1&start=3
2. BDA The Association of UK Dietitians. Calcium. Available from: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Calcium.pdf
3. British Nutrition Foundation. Calcium counts! Dairy and non-dairy sources of calcium. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/874/Calcium%20counts_final_20.08.18.pdf
4. As above
5. BBC Good Food. The best calcium-rich foods. Available from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/best-calcium-rich-foods
6. As above
7. As Source 5
8. David Heitz. Health Benefits of Greek Yoghurt. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/greek-yogurt-benefits
9. Kris Gunnars, BSc. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#section1
10. As Source 3
11. Weaver CM, et al. Calcium Bioavailability from High Oxalate Vegetables: Chinese Vegetables, Sweet Potatoes and Rhubarb. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1997.tb04421.x
12. Kerri-Ann Jennings. Top 15 Calcium-Rich Foods (Many Are Non-Dairy). Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-calcium-rich-foods