Calcium rich foods for a bone building diet


Most people know that milk and cheese is a good source of calcium, but many people are surprised by the fact that there are numerous dairy free foods that you can include into your diet to reach your daily recommended amount of calcium.

Use our calcium rich foods chart to identify foods for some additional ideas of additional calcium rich foods to add to your daily meal plan.

We believe you can therefore safely ignore all the hype about milk as the best source of calcium and rather focus on including the items on our list as part of a well balanced diet.

When calcium sources are evaluated on their nutrient density we find that milk is a indeed a good calcium rich source.

The problem with milk is however that it is a very poor source of other minerals like: 

  • manganese
  • chromium
  • selenium
  • magnesium


Numerous research studies have revealed that magnesium works best alongside calcium.





Looking for a list of the best calcium rich foods besides dairy?


According the World's healthiest food rating system the following vegetables are considered to be the best sources of calcium.


Ignore all the hype about milk as the best source of calcium and look at the following vegetables as a source of calcium.

Food

% of daily value
(per cup)

Rating

Collard greens

27%

Excellent

Spinach

24%

Excellent

Turnip greens

20%

Excellent

Mustard greens

17%

Excellent

Beet greens

16%

Excellent

Bok choy

16%

Excellent

Swiss chard

10%

Very good

Kale

9%

Very good

Cabbage

6%

Good

Broccoli

6%

Good

Brussels sprouts

6%

Good

Green beans

6%

Good

Summer squash

5%

Good

Fennel

4%

Good

Asparagus

4%

Good

Celery

4%

Good

Leeks

3%

Good

Romain lettuce

3%

Good

The only fruit with significant calcium nutritional value is:

Oranges

5% for medium sized fruit

Good



How does dairy products stack up against vegetables as a source of calcium?

Food

% of daily value

Rating

Yoghurt

30% per cup

Very good

Cheese

20% from 1 ounce

Good

Cow's milk

20% from 4 ounces

Good



What are the health benefits of calcium?

You probably already know that the health benefits of calcium rich foods include the fact that it helps you maintain healthy and strong bones.

Many people don’t know that calcium is also plays an important role in many physiological activities not related to bones including the following:

  • Calcium promotes a healthy heart by assisting muscle to contract and relax
  • Clots blood
  • Promotes healthy nerves
  • Contracts muscles
  • Improves skin, bone and teeth health
  • Relieves aching muscles and bones
  • Maintains the correct acid-alkaline balance
  • Reduces menstrual cramps


Your bones and teeth house 99% of the calcium in our bodies.

The remaining calcium in your body can be found in your muscles, nerves and blood.

Calcium rich foods are particularly necessary during childhood when bones are still growing.

In children, calcium deficiency can cause improper bone mineralization. This can result in bone deformities and growth retardation.

It is also important to add calcium rich foods to a diet for the elderly because of the fact that our ability to absorb calcium becomes impaired with age.

The body utilizes complex regulatory systems to tightly control the amount of calcium in our blood.

When our dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain normal calcium blood levels, the body will draw on calcium stores in the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations.

This can lead to osteoporosis.

Calcium and vitamin D

Adequate levels of vitamin D improve the calcium balance of he body.

Calcium works synergistically with Vitamin D and as a result, vitamin D deficiency may also lead to a poor calcium status.

Calcium and exercise

Research has indicated that exercise and specifically weight bearing workouts slows down possible calcium losses.

It is therefore a good idea for people with osteoporosis and similar bone-related diseases to perform these types of exercises.


What are the signs and symptoms of a calcium deficiency?

Symptoms of a calcium deficiency that can indicate a need for more calcium rich foods include the following:

  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Tooth decay
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent bone fractures


Severe calcium deficiency, along with other contributing factors like excessive protein consumption can result in osteoporosis.

The calcium balance in the body is negatively impacted by consumption of alcohol as well as coffee and tea.


Like this page?


Related pages

Juicing for health
Juicer recipes

You may also be interested in our lists of:

Foods high in magnesium

High fiber foods

Iron rich foods

Return from calcium rich foods to benefits of juicing home.