Calcium is very important for our health.
In fact, we have more calcium in our body than any other mineral. It makes up much of our bones and teeth and plays a role in heart health, muscle function and nerve signaling.
The main foods rich in calcium are dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. However, many non-dairy sources are also high in this mineral.
These include seafood, leafy greens, legumes, dried fruit and various foods that are fortified with calcium.
Here are some foods that are rich in calcium, many of which are non-dairy.
Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses. Some are high in calcium, including sunflower, sesame, celery and chia seeds. Sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon have 9 grams calcium plus other minerals, including copper, iron and manganese.
Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the most, with 331 mg calcium per ounce (28 grams). Softer cheeses tend to have less — one ounce only delivers 52 mg.
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Many types of yogurt are also rich in live probiotic bacteria, which have various health benefits.
One cup (245 grams) of plain yogurt contains 200 gm calcium, as well as phosphorus, potassium and vitamins B2 and B12.
4. Sardines and canned salmon
Sardines and canned salmon are loaded with calcium for their edible bones. A 3.75-ounce (92-gram) can of sardines packs 35% and 3 ounces (85 grams) of canned salmon with bones have 21% calcium.
5. Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are high in fiber, protein and micronutrients. They also boast lots of iron, zinc, folate, magnesium and potassium. Some varieties also have decent amounts of calcium. A single cup (172 grams) of cooked wing beans has 244 mg calcium.
Of all nuts, almonds are among the highest in calcium — one ounce of almonds, or about 22 nuts, delivers 8% calcium. In addition, they’re an excellent source of magnesium, manganese and vitamin E.
Dried figs are rich in antioxidants and fiber. They also have more calcium than other dried fruits. In fact, dried figs provide 5% calcium in one ounce (28 grams). Moreover, figs provide decent amounts of potassium and vitamin K.
Milk is one of the best and cheapest calcium sources. One cup (237 ml) of cow's milk has 276–352 mg, depending on whether it's whole or nonfat milk. The calcium in dairy is also absorbed well . Additionally, milk is a good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.
9. Some leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens are incredibly healthy, and some of them are high in calcium. Greens that have good amounts of this mineral include collard greens, spinach and kale. For instance, one cup (190 grams) of cooked collard greens has 266 mg calcium.
One cup of frozen broccoli has 87 mg of calcium.
11. Sweet potatoes
One large sweet potato contains 68 mg of calcium. These vegetables are also rich in potassium and vitamins A and C.
One large orange contains 74 mg of calcium, while a single glass of calcium-fortified orange juice contains 300 mg.