Contrary to popular belief, calcium isn’t solely found in dairy products. In fact, there are a variety of foods that are rich sources of this essential mineral.
From dairy and soy products like milk and tofu, to grains like fortified cereals and amaranth, to nuts and seeds like almonds and sesame seeds, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Even fish like mackerel and salmon with bones are excellent sources of calcium.
So, whether you’re lactose intolerant or simply looking to diversify your diet, this article will explore the calcium content of various foods to help you make informed choices.
- Dairy products such as milk, buttermilk, and cottage cheese are good sources of calcium.
- Tofu, both firm and soft, can provide a significant amount of calcium.
- Amaranth, instant oatmeal, and calcium-fortified cereals are grains that contain calcium.
- Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, and sesame tahini are additional sources of calcium.
Dairy and Soy
Dairy and soy products, such as milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese, and tofu, are significant sources of well-absorbed calcium.
Milk, whether it is skim, low fat, or whole, contains approximately 300 mg of calcium in just one cup. Buttermilk also provides the same amount of calcium in a single cup.
Cottage cheese, on the other hand, offers about 0.5 cup of calcium. Tofu, which comes in both firm and soft varieties, is another excellent source of calcium.
Four ounces of firm, calcium-set tofu can provide anywhere from 250 to 750 mg of calcium, while the same amount of soft regular tofu contains about 120 to 390 mg.
These dairy and soy products are not only tasty but also play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy intake of calcium.
Amaranth, cooked, provides a significant amount of calcium. In fact, half a cup of cooked amaranth contains 135 mg of calcium. This makes it a great option for those looking to increase their calcium intake through grains.
To further emphasize the importance of calcium-rich grains, let’s take a look at the following table:
|Grains||Calcium Content (per 0.5 cup)|
|Amaranth, cooked||135 mg|
|Brown rice, long grain||–|
|Oatmeal, instant||100 to 150 mg|
As we can see, amaranth stands out with its notable calcium content compared to the other grains listed. Incorporating amaranth into one’s diet can be a valuable addition for individuals seeking to boost their calcium intake.
Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds, for example, are a good source of calcium. They contain approximately 37 mg of calcium per ounce. This makes them a suitable option for individuals looking to increase their calcium intake.
Additionally, almonds, sesame seeds, and sesame tahini also provide a decent amount of calcium. Almonds have around 75 mg of calcium per ounce, while sesame seeds offer 280 mg of calcium per ounce. Sesame tahini contains 130 mg of calcium per ounce.
Including these nuts and seeds in one’s diet can contribute to meeting the daily calcium requirements.
It is important to note that while nuts and seeds can provide a significant amount of calcium, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Salmon, canned with bones, is a fish that provides a moderate amount of calcium, with approximately 170 to 210 mg per 3 ounces. This makes it a valuable source of calcium for those who may not consume dairy or soy products.
Here are some reasons why salmon can be a great addition to a calcium-rich diet:
High in omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon is known for its high omega-3 fatty acid content, which can help reduce inflammation and promote heart health.
Rich in vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, and salmon is one of the few natural food sources that contain this important vitamin.
Versatile and delicious: Salmon can be prepared in a variety of ways, making it a versatile and tasty option for incorporating calcium into your meals.
Sustainable choice: Opting for canned salmon, particularly those with bones, is a sustainable choice as it helps reduce waste and supports environmental conservation efforts.
Molasses, a sweet syrup derived from sugar cane or sugar beets, is another source of calcium with approximately 135 mg per tablespoon. It is a dark, thick liquid that is often used as a sweetener in baking and cooking.
While molasses may not be as commonly known for its calcium content as other foods, it can still contribute to one’s daily intake of this essential mineral. Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as for proper muscle and nerve function.
Incorporating molasses into one’s diet can be a flavorful way to boost calcium levels, especially for those who may be lactose intolerant or have dietary restrictions that limit dairy consumption.
Incorporating calcium-fortified cereals into one’s diet can be a convenient and tasty way to increase their intake of this essential mineral. Here are four reasons why adding calcium-fortified cereals to your daily routine can be beneficial:
High Calcium Content: Calcium-fortified cereals are specifically formulated to provide a significant amount of calcium per serving. This can help meet your daily recommended intake and support bone health.
Variety of Options: There is a wide range of calcium-fortified cereals available on the market, offering different flavors and textures to suit individual preferences. This variety allows for enjoyable and diverse breakfast choices.
Convenience: Calcium-fortified cereals are ready-to-eat and require minimal preparation time. They can be a quick and easy option for busy mornings or when you’re on the go.
Versatility: Calcium-fortified cereals can be consumed in various ways. They can be enjoyed with milk or yogurt, topped with fresh fruits, or even used as a crunchy addition to smoothie bowls or yogurt parfaits.
Vegetables, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruit
Moving on from calcium-fortified cereals, the next subtopic focuses on the calcium content of vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. These plant-based foods offer a wide range of calcium options for those seeking alternative sources.
While the calcium content varies, most vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit contain some amount of calcium. Some notable sources include almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and molasses. Almonds, toasted and unblanched, provide 1 ounce of calcium, while 1 ounce of whole roasted sesame seeds offers 280 mg of calcium. Additionally, 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 135 mg of calcium.
These plant foods offer a nutritious and calcium-rich alternative for those who may not consume dairy or soy products.