Top 25 Calcium Rich Foods and How to Make Them Effective

The calcium is one of the most important minerals for our body, it is the fundamental constituent of our teeth and bones as well as the most abundant mineral in the human body. In addition to strengthening our bones, calcium contributes to the development of other important functions.

Calcium is also essential during pregnancy , an essential pillar for a healthy pregnancy and baby. The fetus needs calcium for strong bones and teeth, as it increases its bone density, as well as for a healthy heart, clotting systems, and muscles.

Therefore, we must make sure that we cover the daily calcium quota, and we will obtain this through what we eat. We share with you which are the 25 best foods rich in calcium and how to make them effective .

How much calcium should we get per day?

The calcium quota varies according to the sex and age of each person . According to the US National Institutes of Health , these are the average recommended amounts of calcium per day in milligrams (mg):

STAGE OF LIFE RECOMMENDED AMOUNT
Babies up to 6 months of age 200 mg
Babies 7 to 12 months of age 260 mg
Children 1 to 3 years of age 700 mg
Children 8 to 4 years old 1,000 mg
Children 9-13 years of age 1,300 mg
Adolescents 14 to 18 years of age 1,300 mg
Adults 19 to 50 years of age 1,000 mg
Adult men ages 51 to 70 1,000 mg
Adult women 51 to 70 years of age 1,200 mg
Adults 71 years of age or older 1,200 mg
Adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding 1,300 mg
Pregnant or lactating adult women 1,000 mg

As it is not a mineral that we produce naturally, we must make sure that we receive the recommended daily amounts through our diet or through multivitamin mineral supplements , but if we can obtain them from a balanced diet, much better.

Why is calcium important for our body

Además del famoso “el calcio es bueno para tus dientes y huesos”, este mineral es uno de los más importantes, pues ayuda a que se desarrollen de forma correcta muchos procesos y funciones en nuestro cuerpo.

Necesitamos calcio para que los músculos se muevan y para que los nervios puedan transmitir los mensajes del cerebro a distintas partes del cuerpo. El calcio también ayuda a que la sangre circule de manera correcta a través de los vasos sanguíneos y a que tengamos un ritmo cardíaco normal, así como a liberar hormonas y enzimas.

Un insuficiencia de calcio contribuye considerablemente en la aparición de osteoporosis, así como en la posible aparición de otros trastornos. Por otro lado, tampoco debemos caer en excesos, pues el consumo exagerado de calcio puede causar estreñimiento. Además, la ingesta de una gran cantidad de calcio durante un tiempo prolongado puede elevar el riesgo de cálculos renales.

Los 25 mejores alimentos ricos en calcio

Probablemente la mayoría de las personas asociemos el calcio en la alimentación a la leche, pero hay muchos alimentos que también nos dan un buen aporte de este mineral. Estos son los 25 mejores alimentos ricos en calcio.

Quesos

Although the exact amount may vary from one to the other, on average cheeses provide 800 mg of calcium per 100 grams . The cheeses that provide us with the most calcium are: Parmesan cheese (1,187 mg of calcium per 100 grams), cured Manchego cheese (848 mg of calcium per 100 grams) and Gruyère cheese (881 mg of calcium per 100 grams).

If you are pregnant, you should avoid moldy cheeses such as roquefort or cabrales, and fermented cheeses such as feta or cambembert (even if they are made from pasteurized milk), due to the risk of contracting listeriosis .

You can include cheese in endless recipes , both salty and sweet and for any time of the day.

Milk

Depending on the type of milk, the calcium content may vary. For example, in a glass of whole milk (250 ml) we can find 300 mg of calcium , while in one of skimmed milk we find 320 mg.

You should take 2 or 3 servings of dairy a day. Breakfast should include a portion, which can be a glass of milk, yogurt combined with crunchy cereals and some fruit

The diet of children in the early years is mainly dairy. Both milk and dairy products provide abundant nutritional benefits, but caution should be exercised with raw, unpasteurized milk as it can harbor dangerous microorganisms that pose serious health risks.

Yogurts

In the case of yogurts, the amount of calcium is also different depending on its content . The yogurts that provide the highest levels are Greek and flavored skimmed yogurt , with 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams , followed by sweetened plain skimmed yogurt with 149 mg , and plain plain yogurt with 142 mg . We can accompany it with natural fruits or in glasses with mango and chia seeds .

Sardines

Fish also help us obtain calcium, especially sardines in oil, which provide 340 mg of calcium per 100 grams . Sardines are also a fatty fish or oily fish rich in omega 3 and low in mercury, as well as in vitamin D, iodine and potassium.

We can enjoy them as an aperitif or in a delicious savory cake or in rolls as an aperitif .

Prawns and prawns

Other seafood that are good sources of calcium are prawns and prawns. These provide 220 mg per 100 grams , in addition to being foods high in other essential nutrients such as iodine, zinc, as well as vitamins A and D. They also provide long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is a component of dietary patterns associated with good health.

We can consume them in salads , stir-fries and meatballs or in many other recipes to include in your diet. Between one and two weekly servings of fish and shellfish are recommended.

Dry fig

Dried fruits also provide considerable amounts of calcium that we can easily include in our meals. Dried figs, for example, provide 163 mg of calcium per 100 grams . In Directo al Paladar they share three ways of drying figs at home: with a dehydrator, in the oven or leaving them in the sun.

Dehydrated tomatoes

Dried or dehydrated tomatoes can also be a good source of calcium, as every 100 grams of sun-dried tomatoes, without added, provide 110 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can integrate them into salads or paninis .

Almonds

Nuts such as almonds also provide calcium, as they contain high doses of this mineral: 264 mg per 100 grams , which covers 26% of the recommended daily amount for an adult. We can incorporate them into our meals in a wide variety of dishes: salads , cookies and even as a base for a savory cake .

Hazelnuts

Although they do not provide as much calcium as almonds, hazelnuts are also a good source of this mineral, since they provide 230 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can enjoy it in the simple homemade Nutella recipe that Vitónica offers us.

Pistachios

In addition to being a perfect ally for the heart , pistachios help to meet our daily calcium intake, as they provide 136 mg per 100 grams . It is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamin E, and is one of the nuts with the highest proportion of unsaturated fats as well as high protein content. Let’s just remember that the recommended daily amount of pistachios is 28 grams, as they are extremely caloric.

They can be eaten as is or include this “superfood” in recipes for every day , such as cakes, hummus or salads.

Sesame seeds

Other vegetable seeds that help us cover the recommended calcium quota are sesame seeds, as they provide 975 mg per 100 grams . We can add them to a stir fry or use them to bake some muffins or cakes.

Poppy seeds

The seeds can also add large amounts of calcium to our diet, as poppy seeds provide 1,460 mg per 100 grams . We can include them in our diet by using them in salads , or by incorporating them in rolls , pancakes and cakes .

Fennel seeds

A seed that also contains a high concentration of calcium is fennel, which provides 1,300 mg per 100 grams . This is another type of seed that we can use in breads, cakes, muffins and sauces .

Chia seeds

The popular chia seeds that we can now find in multiple recipes for healthy breakfasts , shakes and snacks are also a good source of calcium, since they provide 630 mg per 100 grams .

Dried dill

Also some herbs can provide us with the calcium we need every day. An example of this is dried dill , which provides 1,700 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can use the dill to flavor soups, creams and prepare sauces .

Dried oregano

Another herb high in calcium and that we can use to add many foods is oregano, which provides more than 1,500 mg per 100 grams . It is ideal for seasoning foods such as pizzas and pastas .

Dried wakame seaweed

Some seaweed can also help us meet our daily calcium quota, such as dried wakame seaweed, which provides 660 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can add it to soups , creams, smoothies, stir-fries and salads .

Dried nori seaweed

Another example of seaweed from which we can obtain calcium is dried nori seaweed, as it provides us with 430 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can use it as a filling for cakes, in salads and pancakes .

Garbanzo beans

The legumes in which we can find the most calcium are chickpeas, as they provide 145 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can enjoy them baked , in a stir fry or as a base for delicious pizzas .

Jewish

Beans in all their varieties are an important source of calcium, because according to Vitónica , the black bean provides 150 mg per 100 grams, the white bean 120 mg and the green bean 80 mg. We can prepare them in salads , stews , omelets or as a garnish .

Watercress

Among vegetables, watercress is one of the options that provides us with a greater supply of calcium, with 220 mg per hundred grams . Their flavor may not be the best, but incorporating them into salads and tortillas we can enjoy them.

Kale

The curly cabbage or kale is also an important source of calcium, since for every 100 grams, it provides 200 mg of calcium . We can easily include it in salads and soups.

Broccoli

Continuing with the vegetables, broccoli is another in which we can find the calcium we need, since 200 grams provide 120 mg of this mineral . It is a very versatile vegetable, as we can include it in salads , stews, omelets , muffins or as a main dish .

Spinach

In addition to being rich in iron and vitamin A, spinach is also a food that helps us obtain the calcium we need, since they provide 117 mg per 100 grams . We can enjoy them in salads , muffins and pancakes .

Chard

Swiss chard is another of the green leafy vegetables that contains calcium to help our daily intake, since they provide 105 mg of calcium per 100 grams . We can include them in cakes , as a garnish filling for potatoes or sauteed .

All these foods not only help us obtain the calcium we need on a daily basis, but they are also very practical and easy to obtain to consume through the different recipes and meals that we have proposed.

How to make them effective: absorption enhancers

The absorption of calcium is better when it is taken in amounts of no more than 500 mg at a time, and for this reason, we recommend obtaining it throughout the day through the different meals and snacks that we have.

In addition to knowing the foods that are rich in calcium, it is also important to know how to combine it in order to assimilate it. For example, when consuming calcium, we must make sure that we also obtain vitamin D , as it facilitates its absorption, helping to fix calcium in the bones.

According to the National Information Center on Osteoporosis and Bone Diseases, we can obtain vitamin D in three ways :

  • Through the skin: It occurs naturally in the body after exposure to sunlight .
  • With the intake of certain foods: foods that contain vitamin D are limited but would highlight above all blue fish, shellfish, egg yolk, certain organ meats such as liver and dairy.
  • Through supplements.

Other nutrients, such as vitamin K that we find in vegetables such as turnips, cabbages, lettuce and spinach, and vitamin C that we can find especially in citrus fruits , are enhancers of its absorption. On the contrary, we must avoid combining calcium with foods that inhibit it, such as excess fiber and certain proteins that we find in gelatins and egg white.

With these tips and suggestions for the best foods rich in calcium , you will be able to obtain the recommended daily amount according to your needs and thus prevent the appearance of osteoporosis and other complications derived from a deficiency of this mineral.

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