Calcium in Foods

Foods that are good sources of calcium.

Calcium is an important part of our diet and one of the essential minerals that our body requires on a daily basis. It is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and can be found in many different foods.

Here we provide you with a calcium rich food list so you will be able to determine the best ways for you to consume the calcium that your body needs.


How much calcium do we need?

When you were a child you may have been told to make sure you drink your milk because it will make your teeth and bones strong. Whoever told you this was spot on as these are two of the primary benefits of consuming foods rich in calcium – furthermore around 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the teeth and bones. The greatest need for calcium in the body is in pre-teen girls and again in post-menopausal women. A healthy intake of calcium rich foods during these life stages will greatly reduce the risk of the bone disease osteoporosis, though it is important at any time. But how much calcium do you need per day? This varies according to age and also the amount of vitamin D you receive, as the latter assists in calcium absorption.

In the UK, the recommended daily amount of calcium for adults in the UK is around 700mg per day, whereas the figures in the US and elsewhere in the world are somewhat higher, as you can see from the chart on the right. However, natural forms of calcium are more efficiently absorbed into the body so if it is being taken through calcium supplements the higher figures are recommended, as the body can only absorb around 500mg of a calcium supplement at any one time. It is recommended that calcium consumption should not exceed 3000mg per day.

Calcium absorption in the body

A healthy level of Vitamin D is needed in order to effective absorb calcium. This can be obtained by exposure to sunlight or by consuming some of the food mentioned on our Vitamin D page elsewhere on this site. Calcium is also absorbed less effectively by people eating a high-protein diet, so extra calcium rich foods or supplements may be necessary.

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RDI Calcium

  • 1000 mg Adults
  • 1200mg Females over 50
  • 1300 mg Children 9-18 years
  • 1000mg Toddler 4-8 years
  • 700 mg Toddler 1-3 years
  • 260 mg Infants 7-12 months
  • 200 mg Infants 0-6 months

Calcium Rich Foods List

Foods that contain Calcium.

Here are some common foods that are rich in calcium and can be easily incorporated into most diets.

Calcium Rich Foods, dairy

All measurements are in milligrams (mg) per 100 g (3.5 oz)

  • Milk (condensed, canned, sweetened) – 284 mg
  • Milk (powdered) – 912 mg
  • Yogurt (fruit, low fat) – 144 mg
  • Milk (fat-free/skimmed) – 122 mg
  • Milk (whole/full-fat) – 113 mg
  • Cheese (feta) – 493 mg
  • Milkshake (vanilla) – 146 mg
  • Cheese (Swiss) – 772 mg
  • Milkshake (chocolate) – 132 mg
  • Cheese (camembert) – 388 mg
  • Cheese (cheddar) –  713 mg
  • Cheese (parmesan) – 1109 mg
  • Cheese ricotta (part skimmed) –  257 mg
  • Yogurt (plain, fat-free) – 198 mg
  • Cheese (mozzarella) – 740 mg
  • Potato au gratin – 119 mg
  • Egg Yolk – 129 mg
  • Egg (scrambled) – 66 mg
calcium rich foods

Calcium Rich Foods, non dairy:

  • Almonds – 264 mg
  • Basil – 177 mg
  • Brazil nuts- 160 mg
  • Broccoli – 47 mg
  • Cabbage (boiled)- 48 mg
  • Chia seeds (dried) – 631 mg
  • Crab, blue – 91 mg
  • Figs, dried – 162 mg
  • Flax seeds – 255 mg
  • Garlic – 181 mg
  • Hazelnuts – 140 mg
  • Herring, pickled – 77 mg
  • Kale – 150 mg
  • Kelp- 168 mg
  • Molasses – 205 mg
  • Oatmeal – 80 mg
  • Parsley – 138 mg
  • Rhubarb – 86 mg
  • Sardines (canned) 383 mg
  • Savory Spice, dried – 2060 mg
  • Sesame seeds – 975 mg
  • Soybeans, roasted – 138 mg
  • Spinach, raw – 135 mg
  • Tahini (sesame seed spread) – 680 mg
  • Thyme (fresh) – 405 mg
  • Tofu (fried) – 372 mg
  • Turnip greens – 137 mg
  • Watercress – 120 mg
  • Wholewheat bread – 107 mg

Simple ways to increase Calcium in your diet

In today’s busy culture there are many people who skip breakfast altogether, missing out on the first meal of the day as well as the opportunity to effortlessly increase the calcium level in their diet. As you can see from the above lists many breakfast foods including milk, yoghurt and wholewheat bread are rich in calcium, and if you also take dietary supplements these will be absorbed better if they are taken with food. Starting the day with a breakfast that includes calcium rich foods means you will be able to reap the benefits. Not only will you increase your intake of this essential mineral, but it has many other benefits such as energizing you for the day ahead and also having a positive effect on your metabolism.

Calcium Supplements

As already mentioned, there are other ways to ingest healthy amount of calcium in addition to eating what is on our calcium rich foods list. As with all of the other essential vitamins and minerals that we need, it is possible to buy ready made calcium supplements that you can take on a daily basis and these will sufficiently top up your calcium levels. These calcium supplements can be purchased either online or in your local pharmacy or supermarket.