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Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods


Calcium is one of the key minerals used by the heart to beat and contract properly, while also maintaining blood pressure, making it a vital mineral for overall heart function. But don’t think calcium only comes from dairy products; there are plenty of non-dairy foods that offer similar levels of calcium. Here are our top ten.

1.       Sardines
A tin of this omega-3 rich fish will boost your calcium by an applaudable 888 mg. Just be sure to get the option with the bones still intact, as this is where the majority of calcium lies. Crush the whole fish down and enjoy it in salads or on a piece of wholemeal bread instead. For added heart-health benefits drizzle with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to finish it off.
2.       Kale
All hail kale! This superfood is widely known for its high nutrient values, with calcium being no exception. Two cups of raw kale will give you 201 mg of calcium, but the goodness doesn’t end there. It’s easier for your body to absorb than the calcium found in dairy. Eat it really finely chopped in salads or throw it in a blender with some banana, nuts and calcium-fortified oat milk for a real calcium boosting meal.
3.       Calcium-Fortified Non-Dairy Milks
There are so many non-dairy milks on offer these days, from coconut to almond, rice, soy and even macadamia. Opting for a calcium-fortified option ensures you’re still getting your recommended dose of calcium, but from other sources. A great option for the lactose-intolerant, enjoy these milks with your morning muesli or smoothie.
4.       Tofu
It only takes 1.2 servings of calcium-set tofu to give you the same calcium intake as a glass of milk. Look for non GMO, organic tofu if possible and enjoy this Asian-inspired ingredient stir fried with vegetables like broccoli and bok choy for a calcium hit with stacks of flavour.
5.       Canned Salmon with Bones
A can of salmon boasts an impressive 882 mg of calcium, making it an easy option to add to salads and sandwiches. Simply find the spine and crush all those calcium-rich bones down (don’t worry, you won’t even notice they’re there once crushed) and season with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or mayonnaise. Be sure to look for wild caught, sustainably fished options if you can.
6.       Watercress
Another leafy green hailed for its calcium, watercress is a serious contender for most nutritious food on earth, thanks to its diverse vitamins and minerals. While picking the stems  (and removing the slugs) might seem like a chore, the taste and calcium richness definitely makes it well worth it. Enjoy cress raw in salads or in sandwiches, or cook it instead.
7.       Bok Choy
Two cups of bok choy will give you 148 mg of calcium, making it a fantastic choice to add to your vegetable roster. Like kale, the calcium is easily absorbed by your body, while the preparation options are endless. We love gently steaming it with garlic, ginger and a touch of tamari for a sensational side you can’t stop eating.
8.       Almonds
There’s no denying almonds contain calcium, the only problem is in the quantity you need to eat in order to get your recommended daily dose. One cup of almonds will give you a massive 457 mg of calcium, but eating a cup of almonds a day isn’t recommended. Instead, eat a small handful everyday in conjunction with other calcium rich foods to get this benefit plus so much more.
9.       White Beans
A great source of iron and calcium, white beans offer up 181 mg of calcium per cup. Another bonus? They’re super versatile. Add them to salads or stews, blend them into a dip or make a white bean lasagne instead.
10.   Sesame Seeds
It only takes one tablespoon of sesame seeds to deliver 88 mg of calcium, making them a great option for boosting your calcium intake. Sprinkle them over soups, salads or stir-frys, or spread tahini over your favourite sourdough toast for something a bit different.

Words by Yasemin Trollope, image under license of