The human body requires calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Unfortunately, most people do not get enough calcium in their diets. One way to increase the amount of calcium you get is by eating foods high in this mineral. Here are seven foods that will help boost your daily intake of this essential nutrient:
Beans are a good source of protein and fiber, so they're great for people trying to maintain a healthy weight. Beans also contain iron, which is essential for transporting oxygen throughout your body. They're also low in fat and high in vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly (and prevents excessive bleeding).
Tofu is a food made from soybeans. It's an excellent source of protein and has high nutritional value, including calcium. Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in tofu and provides about 30% of your daily recommended intake per serving (1/2 cup). Tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used as an alternative to meat or dairy products, making it great for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. For example, try adding cubed firm tofu to stir-fry dishes or marinate it with sauces before grilling it on skewers to add flavor to your meal!
Dark leafy greens
- Collard greens
- Bok choy (Chinese cabbage)
- Turnip greens
- Dandelion greens
These dark leafy green vegetables are a great source of calcium, with 138 milligrams per cup. They’re also loaded with vitamin A and C, as well as potassium and iron. You can make spinach salads, sauteed kale or collards with bacon and onions, or add them to soups and stews.
Oatmeal is a great source of calcium. A single serving (about half a cup) of dry oats has about 100 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
When it comes to preparing oatmeal, opt for steel-cut or rolled oats over instant varieties because they'll have higher amounts of insoluble dietary fiber and lower glycemic index scores — meaning they'll be less likely to spike your blood sugar levels. Instant oatmeal tends to have more sugar added than the other types too so stick with the real stuff if you want all that nutritional goodness!
Broccoli is a vegetable that contains a very high amount of calcium, as well as vitamin C, vitamin K and antioxidants. It's one of the top vegetables to eat for bone health!
Milk is a good source of protein and calcium. One cup of whole milk contains about 300 milligrams of calcium, which is about half the daily recommended amount for most adults. It’s also high in vitamin D, riboflavin and potassium. The downside: Milk tends to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol — two nutrients that increase your risk for heart disease when consumed in large amounts over time. To avoid this problem, choose low-fat or nonfat varieties instead — they still have plenty of nutrients but contain less saturated fat and cholesterol than whole milk does.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium. Yogurt contains the bone-building mineral, as well as other key nutrients such as protein and probiotics.
The yogurt industry has pushed this food forward as an excellent source of calcium because it’s easy to digest and absorbed by your body. A cup or two of yogurt can provide you with about 20% of your daily recommended intake for calcium when it’s low fat or nonfat; however, if you choose full-fat yogurts over nonfat options, you will only get about 10% of the recommended daily intake for calcium per cup—so keep that in mind!
You can get calcium from a variety of foods, including those listed above. Calcium is an important nutrient, and it’s especially important for bone health and heart health. If you are looking for ways to increase your calcium intake, try adding some of these foods into your diet!