Sesame To Soy Milk, 10 Foods That Are High In Calcium

As children, it was a common narrative that you needed to drink milk every day to grow big and strong and for most of us, that set the idea that calcium was the secret to strong bones. But the truth is, Calcium is essential for the body in many more ways than simply improving tooth and bone health. 

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, calcium also plays an essential role in Blood Clotting, helping with proper muscle contractions and regulating the heartbeat and nerve functions. This means that getting the proper amount of calcium from your diet is imperative for healthy body function, and according to the National Institute of Health that means adults between the ages of 19-50 should be getting at least 1,000 mg of calcium a day. 

Though calcium supplements are highly beneficial for children and adults of all ages, the most natural and effective way to keep your daily intake of calcium up is through your diet. Luckily there are many food sources that have high naturally occurring levels of calcium, and by adding more of them to your meals you can help reach your daily goals in no time.

Video Credits: Mayo Clinic/ YouTube

Here are 8 foods that are rich in calcium to add to your diet:

1. Milk and Cheese: 

An absolute classic source of calcium according to the USDA, whole milk and cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella can contain around 224 mg of calcium per 100 gms which goes a long way towards meeting your daily quote. Most milk is also fortified with vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption. If you don’t like drinking milk, you can always consider adding it to a sauce or smoothie to make life easier.

2. Yoghurt:

Another dairy product, yoghurt is not only rich in calcium with around 167mg per 100gm according to the USDA  but also provides beneficial probiotics for gut health. Try to steer clear of flavoured fruit yoghurts as they tend to contain a lot of artificial flavours and sugar, but for a similar experience, add some honey and fresh fruits to a bowl of yoghurt for a yummy treat.

3. Sardines: 

If you’re a seafood lover, canned fish is a convenient and tasty way to boost your calcium intake. According to the USDA , a portion of 100 grams of sardines can give you 382 mg of calcium. These small, oily fish are not only a good source of calcium but also provide omega-3 fatty acids, promoting heart health.

4. Leafy Greens: 

We hear about leafy greens being beneficial in so many ways, and calcium is among the many essential benefits they can provide. For example, 100 gms of spinach can provide 67 mg of calcium, according to the USDA. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, and bok choy are also high in calcium. Incorporating them into your diet adds nutritional value. Whether cooked or raw in a salad, greens are a great calcium-rich choice.

5. Tofu:

A versatile plant-based option, tofu is often fortified with calcium, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. According to the USDA, 100 gms of tofu can contain around 372    mg of calcium, this makes it equal to or even more beneficial than traditional dairy sources. Tofu is also considered a great meat substitute, so use it in dishes the same way you would chicken for a delicious, nutritious meal.

6. Almonds:

Nuts, particularly almonds, offer a decent amount of calcium. With 254 mg per 100 gm as per the USDA they’re an easy source of calcium that you can snack on, add to desserts, salads or even make into your own plant-based milk. They also provide healthy fats and protein.

7. Figs: 

Some fruits also have high calcium levels and figs are one that is high on the list. With almost 162 mg of calcium in a 100 gm serving as per the USDA, this fruit is one of the richest natural sources of calcium beyond the realm of dairy. Pick some up for a quick, sweet, nutritious snack.

8. Amaranth:

Whether you’re turning the leaves into a salad or cooking them down into a delicious bhaji, or whether you’re replacing your regular lour with amaranth flour, this plant offers a rich 215 mg of calcium per 100gms as per the USDA , so it can go a long way towards helping you meet your daily nutrition goals.

9. Sesame Seeds:

Though it might seem unlikely, sesame seeds are one of the most calcium dense foods around with 975 mg of calcium per 100 gms according to the USDA. To get more out of these tiny powerhouses, make a homemade tahini sauce and whip it into dips like hummus or as a spread on its own to enjoy the calcium boost.

10. Soy Milk:

Made from soya beans which fall in the legume category, soy milk is a great dairy alternative which according to the USDA also contains a whopping 101 mg of calcium per 100 gms. Use it as you would regular milk in your morning beverage or while cooking.