The Top 10 Calcium Rich Foods
With all of the milk commercials we’ve seen in our lifetimes, it’s easy to think that milk products are the only real food source for calcium.
Yet the reality is there are many different practical and versatile foods that are calcium-rich. And eating a variety of them just makes good sense, as each provides a unique combination of vitamins and minerals.
So let’s get started. But first, a couple of important notes about the list below:
- Amounts are per 100 grams for each food listed.
- Daily Value (DV) is a metric developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are shown to help consumers determine the accurate level of nutrients in a standard serving of food, in relation to their approximate requirement for it.
With this in mind, here is a list you’ll find useful in choosing foods that are rich in calcium. The list starts with the tenth most calcium-rich food and ends with the number one food that contains the most dietary calcium by Daily Value (DV).
47 mg (5% DV) Broccoli, from the Italian plural of broccolo, is the food that might make #1 spot on a list of “Foods Most Likely To Start A Child Rebellion”. Yet there’s a reason it was foisted on all of us when kids as our moms knew that all the calcium inside would help us grow tall.
77 mg (8% DV) Though Asia, Ethiopia and West Africa all lay claim to introducing the world to this calcium-rich flowering plant, its name derives from Nigeria. It’s known also as ladies’ fingers, bhindi, bamia – but it may be most famous due of its presence in a famous Cajun dish: gumbo.
8. Chinese Cabbage
(Pak Choi, Bok Choy) 105 mg (11% DV) Random fact: Chinese cabbage is a subspecies of the turnip and are distant cousins (within the same genus) as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Chinese cabbage is great in soups, stir fries and even salads when sliced thinly. They also pack a calcium rich punch at 11% of your daily value in 105 mg.
7. Dark Leafy Greens
120 mg (12% DV) is the average of kale, dandelion greens, turnip greens, arugula, collard greens, and watercress. This is a great calcium rating, and it’s especially appealing when you consider all the other things dark leafy greens literally bring to the table: chlorophyll, which alkalinizes the blood, fiber, and phytonutrients.
They have a lot of calcium, but greens are an acquired taste. If you just can’t stomach these bitter greens, consider taking a natural supplement rich in calcium in addition to a healthy diet.
6. Milk and Yogurt
125 mg (13% DV) The calcium in milk is reported to absorb at a higher rate than most all other foods, and it provides a good amount of protein too. Grass-fed cow’s milk is best as it has higher amounts of vitamins and minerals because of its diet. If you cannot tolerate cow’s milk, there are alternative nut milks such as cashew or almond milk, which brings us to number five on our list…
264 mg (26% DV) The almond is both a species of tree, and the seed of the same tree native to South Asia and the Middle East. Highly valued as they’re delicious and rich with calcium, the pollination of California’s almonds is the biggest managed pollination event in the world, with almost one million hives (that’s almost half of all US beehives) brought in February to the almond groves.
4. Fortified Soy Products/ Tofu
350 mg (35% DV) Tofu (made from soy beans) originated in China 2,000 years ago and has stayed popular for the calcium and protein it affordably provides. High in iron, low in fat and calories tofu is very versatile yet, the men in your household should eat sparingly as soy contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones that mimic the activity of estrogen in the body.
Warning: only use certified organic soy products as the majority of soy in the USA is genetically modified and labelling laws do not require notification of same!
3. Canned Fish
383 mg (38% DV) Always a good item to keep around (because it keeps), is affordable and provides adequate of calcium, protein and omega 3s. Most canned seafood have BPA-free liners, but make sure by checking the label or asking a clerk.
2. Sesame Seeds
457 mg (45% DV) Long a staple of the Middle East, sesame seeds lead all plants we know of in terms of calcium content. Sesame seeds are the feature ingredient in tahini sauce, which can be used as a dip, in salad dressings or wherever else your imagination can think of.
And drumroll please, for the most calcium-dense food on planet earth…
1. Lithothamnion superpositum (or Algas Calcareas as the locals call it) Marine Algae
720 mg (72% DV) from 4 capsules. It may be a food you have never heard of, but AlgaeCal marine algae is at the top of the calcium podium – and wins the prize for the most calcium rich food.
This South American algae is a kiwi fruit sized ocean plant which is milled into a nutritious powder. This whole food powder is so calcium-dense that your entire daily supplemental need is covered with 4 easy to swallow veggie caps.
AlgaeCal naturally contains not only extremely high natural calcium concentrations, but magnesium, zinc, boron, strontium, vanadium and other bone supporting minerals.
AlgaeCal wins the top prize for two reasons.
It is the only food which fits conveniently into capsules.
it is the only food with clinical research showing that it increases bone density in adults. No other calcium rich food on this list can boast these results.
In fact, clinical studies show 80 year old women reversing osteoporosis and increasing bone density … in just six months! No calcium rich food and no traditional calcium supplement can make this claim.