When you think about the many foods high in calcium, most people will automatically think, “milk.” However, milk and dairy products are not by any means; the only source of calcium. For example, Sesame is the richest plant or vegan source of calcium, much richer than most cheeses. Also, orange is one of the fresh fruits richest in calcium.
- Chemical composition: Mineral element.
- Sources: Milk and dairy products are well known as the best sources of calcium. However, many plant-based foods provide as much or more calcium as milk: Sesame, blackstrap molasses, almonds, beans, and corn. Cabbage, broccoli, and oranges are also good sources of calcium.
- Absorption: Only 20% to 30% of calcium present in foods is absorbed in the intestine, even though at times of rapid growth, pregnancy, or nursing, it may rise to 40%. The rest is lost through feces.
- Facilitators of absorption: vitamin D, proteins in the diet, the lactose in milk, and acidity in the intestinal bolus.
- Inhibitors of absorption: excess phosphorus, as occurs in diets rich in fish and meat; the phytates found in bran, even though the leavening in whole bread causes phytates to disappear partially, oxalates present in rhubarb, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables; excess fat the diet.
Although phytates and oxalates reduce calcium absorption from grains and vegetables, respectively, both types of foods remain useful sources of calcium. Meat and fish, except sardines, are lacking in calcium.
- Function: Calcium is involved in bone and tooth formation, muscular contraction, nerve impulse transmission, and blood coagulation.
- Calcium deficiency: rickets, osteoporosis.
- Increased need: adolescence, pregnancy, and nursing.
- Calcium loss during the processing of foods: lost only as calcium salts dissolve in the cooking water.
Top Foods High in Calcium
|Food (per each 100 g of raw edible portion)||Quantity|
|White Sugar||1.00 mg|
|Soy milk or beverage||4.00 mg|
|Black currant||55.0 mg|
|Whole-grain bread||72.0 mg|
|Brown sugar||85.0 mg|
|Corn tortilla||175 mg|
|White bean||240 mg|
|Carob flour||348 mg|
|Blackstrap molasses||860 mg|
|Skinless chicken||12.0 mg|
|Fresh egg||49.0 mg|
|Cottage cheese 1% fat||60.9 mg|
|Nonfat milk||123 mg|
|Nonfat natural yogurt||199 mg|
|Camembert cheese||388 mg|
|Gruyere cheese||1011 mg|
|% Daily Value (based on a 2000 calorie diet)||provided by 100 g of this food|
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 1. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 398. Print. [ foods high in calcium]