Foods rich in calcium, the list

One of the minerals present in greater quantities in our body is calcium , but our body is unable to produce it. This means that we will have to take it by consuming foods rich in this mineral , so as not to risk a possible and harmful food deficiency.

But what can you eat to increase calcium in your bones? What are the foods richest in this mineral?

Before answering these questions, let’s quickly see what calcium is for and what an insufficient intake might entail.

What is calcium for?

Almost all the calcium we take daily is concentrated in the bones, while the remainder performs important functions for the support of our body. We also know that calcium is important for strong teeth, this mineral supports proper cell function, supports muscle and nerve functions, contributes to muscle contraction, hormone production and blood pressure regulation.

In short, calcium is a very important mineral for the proper functioning of our entire body.

The daily requirement of this mineral varies according to the age of the subject. In adults, the recommended daily amount ranges from 1000 to 1300 milligrams (mg) per day , but this requirement may increase at certain stages of life, such as during pregnancy or breastfeeding, in postmenopausal women and in elderly subjects.

The Risks of a Calcium Deficiency

What happens if we don’t eat enough calcium-rich foods every day? Since this mineral performs so many vital functions for our health, it is clear how important it is to take it in adequate quantities.

A possible food shortage could lead to problems such as:

  • Fragility of the bones
  • An increased risk of fractures
  • Osteomalacia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Damage to the teeth and gums.

Because bones slowly weaken, however, you may not notice these symptoms unless you have a fracture or obvious damage.

Early symptoms of a calcium deficiency can include disorders such as sleeping or pinching fingers , muscle cramps, sleepiness, heart rate changes, and lack of appetite.

What are calcium rich foods?

But at this point, how to take 1000 mg of calcium per day to avoid dietary deficiencies?

You are probably thinking that in order to get enough calcium from your diet, you need to consume large quantities of milk and cheese. In fact, fruit also contains calcium, as do vegetables and nuts.

It is true that the main sources of calcium are represented by milk and dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt and so on.

Below you can find some detailed lists with the best foods of animal origin, vegetables, fruits and vegetables with the most calcium.

Before leaving you to read the diagrams, however, we remind you that calcium needs vitamin D in order to be assimilated correctly, so it will be important to consume foods rich in vitamin D and calcium to optimally support our body.

Table of foods rich in calcium of animal origin

  • Whole milk: about 270 mg of calcium per cup (250ml)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: about 1100 mg of calcium per 100 gr
  • Swiss cheese: about 791 mg per 100 gr
  • Feta: about 493 mg per 100 grams
  • Greek yogurt: about 150 mg per 100 grams
  • Canned sardines or salmon (and other fish whose bones are also eaten): between 200 and 250 mg per 100 grams. Salmon also contains vitamin D, which is useful for promoting calcium absorption.
  • Anchovies: about 44 mg of calcium per 100 grams.

In addition to providing calcium and vitamin D, these foods are also a good source of protein , which is essential for our body.

Plant foods rich in calcium

Which vegetables are the richest in calcium ? As doctors point out, in recent years, with the spread of plant-based diets and the increase in cases of lactose intolerance , the consumption of milk and derivatives has significantly decreased.

For this reason, it is important to know which foods (also of vegetable origin) can provide good amounts of calcium, in order to avoid the risk of a possible deficiency of this mineral. Below we will see which fruits are rich in calcium and which are the most useful vegetables to achieve a correct intake of this mineral.

Vegetables rich in calcium

If you need to consume foods rich in calcium but without cholesterol , vegetables and legumes may be for you. Let’s see which are the richest in this mineral.

  • Cabbage: about 320 mg of calcium per serving (250g)
  • Winged beans: about 440 mg per 100 grams of product
  • Legumes, especially beans and lentils, which are sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, folic acid, and potassium
  • Broccoli: 31 mg of calcium in half a cup of cooked broccoli
  • Soy: 25 mg per 100 grams
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach provide around 180 mg for a 100-gram serving.

Which fruit is the richest in calcium?

In addition to vegetables, some types of fruit can also provide excellent amounts of calcium. In the following list we will see which are the fresh fruit, the dried fruit and which are the seeds that contain the most:

  • Figs: 5 dried or fresh figs provide about 135 mg of calcium
  • Papaya: 28 mg of calcium per 100 grams
  • Oranges: A 100-gram orange provides about 40 mg of calcium
  • Almonds: about 250 mg per 100 grams. Almonds also provide good amounts of fiber, magnesium, vitamin E and manganese.
  • Chia seeds: 1 tablespoon provides 78 mg of calcium (631 mg per 100 grams)
  • Sesame seeds: about 975 mg of calcium per 100 gr
  • Flax seeds: 265 mg per 100 grams.

Calcium-fortified foods , such as plant milk, breakfast cereals, fortified flour, and some fruit juices should also be added to this list of foods . These particular foods are rich in both calcium and iron, and can help you get the right amounts of these two important minerals.

Which food contains the most calcium?

One of the most calcium-rich foods to ward off osteoporosis and other conditions is undoubtedly milk , followed by yogurt and cheese . These three foods of animal origin provide high and well absorbable amounts of calcium.

If, on the other hand, you can only take lactose-free foods rich in calcium, you can opt for fish, dark leafy vegetables and dried fruit, but also soy (and derivatives) and fresh fruit, in addition to the delactosed ( lactose -free ) alternatives of cheese, milk and others dairy products.

When to take a calcium supplement?

The best way to get calcium into your body is through a healthy and balanced diet, which includes all foods (both of animal and vegetable origin) that contain it in greater quantities.

If this is not possible, food supplements can come to our aid , which must always and only be taken on the advice of a doctor, and only in case of actual need.

An excessive intake of calcium (more than 1,500 mg per day) and / or vitamin D could in fact have serious and life-threatening consequences, causing a condition known as ” hypercalcemia “.

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