What are good sources of calcium?
Ever remember your parents telling you how important calcium was growing up? How it would help you grow up big and strong?
Well, they were not far right. But you don’t stop needing calcium once you’ve grown up – adults need it too. In fact, calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. You’ll find 99% of it in your bones and teeth, with the other 1% contributing towards important bodily functions, including normal muscle function, blood clotting and neurotransmissions. Phew!
Dairy products in general are the most well-known sources of calcium, I know you probably won’t just want to drink four glasses of milk every single day – and it’s a good idea to vary your sources of calcium. That’s why I’ve put together this handy list of individual foods to help you achieve your goal. And I’ll tell you one thing: it wasn’t easy to type out with hooves.
Top calcium rich foods
Cheese & Cheese Spread
Did you really expect me to start with anything other than good old cheese? Everyone knows dairy products are high in calcium, so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that means cheese and cheese spread are too. But here’s a pro tip: reduced fat cheese actually tends to have a higher calcium content than full fat versions. That’s because the fat in milk doesn’t hold any calcium, so with a lower fat content in reduced fat cheese (shocking, I know), there’s more room for the stuff containing calcium! That only works if no other calcium is added on top of what comes from the milk used to make the cheese. It’s possible to add extra calcium, so this doesn’t always work, but thought you’d like to know.
There’s plenty of this important nutrient in my cheese spread too* – one of my Original triangles contains 107mg calcium, and that makes it officially a good source. If you’re interested in finding out all the other vitamins and minerals you can find in everyone’s favourite snack, check out my cheese nutrition facts.
*For more information about the difference between cheese and cheese spread, read about how we make The Laughing cow here
You can often clock in around 20% of your RI of calcium in a single 125g pot of low fat plain yogurt. Jazz it up by adding some pineapple chunks or a squeeze of honey for a dose of natural sweetness.
If you’ve got a tin of sardines at the back of the cupboard, now’s the time to *ahem* fish them out. They’re a surprisingly high source of calcium thanks to their soft, edible bones. Eating 100g of these small fish should provide you with over 62% of your RI, and they’re also naturally rich in vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium. Double bonus.
Vegetables contain calcium, however it is not so easy for our body to use it, because the calcium in vegetables is combined with other elements. Studies show that without dairy calcium, it is virtually impossible to get the quantity our bodies need. So bearing this in mind, here are the foods which contain the highest levels of calcium
No wonder everyone’s calling kale a superfood – this remarkable green is full of great stuff, including calcium. If you’re not a fan of the leaves themselves, you don’t have to miss out on their healthy goodness – there are other ways to get kale into your diet. Simply pop some into a blender with some sweet strawberries, whizz it up and drink it down. You can get 16% of your RI of calcium from 100g. Oh, and it’ll be a pretty amazing green colour too.
“Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart! Something about a balanced diet having a… calcium part?”
Sorry about ruining that classic playground rhyme, but this full English breakfast staple also contains calcium. You’ll get 100mg of the good stuff from half a can of baked beans (200g).
Spinach has a great reputation for healthiness, probably thanks to a certain cartoon sailor. And I’ll certainly agree it’s a source of calcium – there’s almost 21% of your RI in a 100g portion. 100g will look like a lot of leaves, but I’m not expecting you to eat a whole bag like a packet of crisps. Cooked in a pan, it’ll shrink down to a mere tenth of its original size during cooking. Well, blow me down!
Who knew there was calcium in all these foods? I think we all know the most delicious one in the list though – right, cheese-lovers? For a handy way to get your calcium fix while on the move, why not try some Dip & Crunch Original Cheese Dippers?