Strong bones require high dietary levels of calcium every single day. While it is possible to supplement with calcium and just forget about foods high in calcium, researchers now know that high doses of the inorganic forms of calcium often used in supplements have various side effects, including the calcification of arteries and internal organs. Focus on eating from a wide-range of calcium-rich foods for stronger bones. Not only is organic, food-based calcium much safer, but it also contains many other nutrients that will benefit your general health and well-being.
You do not need to take a mineral supplement if you are eating seaweed. Various species of seaweeds, such as kelp, dulse, wakame, nori, are densely packed with nutrition, and has the highest dietary sources of organic calcium available. Eating 100g of kelp (either Fucus vesiculosis or Lithothamnium calcareum) may provide up to 1,500mg of calcium, as well as other bone and joint supporting nutrients such as magnesium, iron, copper, potassium and omega-3.
Kale is related to other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, which is fast becoming popular as a super food rich in calcium. One cup of cooked kale will provide anywhere from 9-25% of your daily calcium requirements. It also provides a range of other bone nutrients including vitamin A, C, K, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese. Kale’s antioxidant flavonoids may also prevent several types of cancer, including colon, bladder, breast and ovaries.
Whether eating desert or roasted nuts, we all love almonds. Well, the good news is that almonds contain essential minerals for a strong bone matrix, including a high dose of calcium. Eating 100g of almonds will provide approximately 250g of calcium. While roasting or baking will not affect the content of the calcium in almonds, any form of cooking does damage the omega-6 and -9 oils found in them. So it is best to eat them raw for the full health benefit.
Need to cut down on chocolate? Well go for some carob then as it may help your bones. The carob tree produces edible pods that are often used as an alternative to cocoa, because of their chocolate-like flavour. They are high in sugar, protein, vitamins and minerals. Every 100g of carob flour provide up to 750mg of calcium. Use carob to make some healthful sweet treats today!
#5 Collard Greens
It is another member of the brassica family. Collard greens run circles around its relatives in calcium content. In one cup of cooked collard greens, you will be getting about 300mg of calcium. Collard greens are often included in “mixed greens” along with spinach, kale, lettuce and they are less bitter than turnip greens.
Dairy foods are the most popular source of calcium in Western countries today. While one cup of whole milk contains nearly 110mg of calcium, low-fat varieties contain significantly more calcium. As they are more concentrated, yogurt, cream and cheese also contain much more calcium than just milk. Yogurt contains 150mg of calcium per 100g and cheddar cheese top the list by containing 750mg of calcium per 100g. The thicker and more dense the dairy product, the more calcium it will contain.
#7 Turnip Greens
Turnip greens are given a distinctive bitter taste by their high calcium content. While commercial growers want to reduce the bitterness of turnip greens to make them into a more viable product, this would only reduce their calcium content as well. One cup of cooked turnip greens contains nearly 250mg of calcium, as well as vitamin K, A, C, copper, folic acid, magnesium and potassium. A few turnip greens mixed into other less bitter salad greens will provide extra nourishment and disguise the taste somewhat.
#8 Valerian Root
Valerian root is a form of herbal supplement often sold for stress and sleep disturbances such as insomnia. While it has been well-researched to support a good night’s rest, valerian root is also a little-known powerhouse of nutrition. 100g of the dried root contains a whopping 4g of calcium. Because of its foul smell and unpalatable taste, however, valerian is unlikely to become a popular vegetable. Making valerian tea before bed to support a deep sleep will no doubt support stronger bones with more calcium as well.
While today it is often used as a simple garnish to be tossed away, it is much more than that. Parsley has been used since ancient times as both food and medicine. It is rich in vitamin C, K, A, iron, folic acid and calcium. One tablespoon of fresh parsley would provide an instant 20mg of calcium. It is just such a simple thing to add to stir fries, soups, pastas, sauces and salads, for that extra hit of bone nutrition.
#10 Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast is not just for beer production. For many generations the inactive form of brewer’s yeast has been used as a nutritional supplement, and is a fantastic source of many nutrients such as vitamin B, chromium, iron, and calcium. In 100g of brewer’s yeast you will get about 200mg of calcium. This combination of B vitamins and minerals makes brewer’s yeast a top super food for energy production, bone health and blood sugar balance.
#11 Dandelion Greens
This is one green vegetable you are not going to see in the supermarket. Dandelions are often treated as noxious weeds and thrown out with the compost, which is a shame concerning their nutritive value. In 100g of fresh dandelion leaves, you would receive over 200mg of calcium. Not only that, but dandelion greens are the highest dietary source of vitamin A and potassium. These two are the important minerals for the bone matrix. So next time you are doing your weeding, save the dandelion leaves for your dinner plate.
#12 Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers seeds are a rich source of omega-6 and omega-9, vitamin E, calcium and possibly one of the tastiest foods high in calcium. You can get 120mg of calcium from 100g of sunflower seeds. Combine with other nuts and seeds for a delicious roasted snack.
#13 Wheat Bran
People often eat wheat bran to support healthy digestive function. But it is more than just roughage (dietary fiber). Wheat bran contains high quantities of organic calcium, providing up to 10mg of calcium per tablespoon.
#14 Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are often added to the crusts of buns and breads, as well as ground up to make tahini and hummus. Though it is hard to imagine eating huge amounts of sesame seeds, one tablespoon of unhulled sesame seeds contains nearly 10mg of calcium. Sesame seeds are also the highest dietary source of magnesium which is required in a 2:1 ratio with calcium to make strong bones.
Though kids do not always want to eat their broccoli, parents out there still have to put in the extra efforts. Because there are so many benefits! Broccoli has chemicals researched to prevent various types of cancer, stimulate liver detoxification and improve bone density by providing organic calcium. Eating 100g of broccoli provides 100mg of calcium. For optimal health, blanche or steam broccoli and get the most out of its healthful properties.
Walnuts are a snack for developing smart brains. The nuts not only look like a small brain, but contain beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids for healthy brain function. Walnuts also contain minerals that support central nervous system function and strong bone formation. 100g of walnuts provide 100mg of calcium, along with good doses of vitamin E and manganese. For optimal health benefits, eat walnuts raw and non-irradiated.
Soybeans are a delicious and protein-rich food source of calcium. This made it a perfect food for women who are looking to prevent osteoporosis. The combination of high calcium content (about 130mg per 100g), with natural plant oestrogens means that soybeans and other soy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis by acting on different levels at once.
Dried figs contain more calcium than any other fruit. Often added to baking, or eaten as a snack, figs are highly concentrated in calcium, containing approximately 130mg of calcium per 100g. Intensely sweet, this is a highly pleasurable method of increasing your dietary calcium for stronger bones.
Watercress is a delicious green with a spicy taste. In one cup of watercress, there is 150mg of calcium. Excellent food for an energy boost and to soothe any digestive upsets. The warm oils in watercress may help with calcium absorption.
#20 Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are better known for their selenium content. In countries where soil selenium is low, just two or three brazil nuts a day provides 100% of the daily selenium requirement. Brazil nuts are also high in essential fatty acids, protein, and calcium, containing nearly 200mg of calcium per 100g. Just a few of these nuts go a long way!
Blackcurrants provide 60mg of calcium per cup, but also have a wide range of health benefits for muscles and bones. They are highly alkaline and protect the bones from demineralization causes by too much acid in the body. In addition, they aid muscle recovery and relieve muscle aches.
Olives are the keystone to the Mediterranean diet. Rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, olives support the health of the body from the skin through to the bones. In 100g of olives there is 110mg of calcium, along with iron, copper, omega-9, and plant-based chemicals to support immune function, protecting against infection as well as cancer.
Even though raisins are small and sweet, they contain enough calcium to make a little difference. By eating 100g of raisins, you will receive nearly 60mg of calcium. It may not sound like a lot, but when you consider all the places you can eat raisins like stir fries, salads, baking, as snacks by themselves , it all quickly adds up to a substantial proportion. Raisins are an antioxidant-packed super food that can benefit the bones and the heart, and provide a quick pick-me-up when you are tired.
#24 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of essential fatty acids, zinc, iron, and calcium. 100g of pumpkin seeds contain about 50mg of calcium. Combine with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and nuts to create a wonderful roasted snack.
Cabbage contains a surprisingly good dose of calcium. One cooked cup of cabbage provides nearly 50mg of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals. It may not be a sexy vegetable, but it is great for bone health and digestive function.
Miso is a Japanese soup that is often served as sushi restaurants. Spicy and warming, this brown broth also provides essential bone nutrients. One cup of miso soup provides nearly 120mg of calcium. Easy to make and low in calories, this is one of the simplest and healthiest foods high in calcium.