Table of foods with more calcium

List of foods with calcium

Calcium is one of the main mineral elements of the human body. Although there are many foods that contain calcium, it has many assimilation problems and generates a lack of bone density, among other problems.

Although we initially thought of milk and cheese, there are a lot of foods with more calcium.

We will know in depth about the needs we have for calcium and ways to complete your requirements.

Calcium needs

Calcium is the mineral that is most concentrated in the human body. We have parts that are full of this element, such as teeth, bones and nails.

However, there are also other organs and fundamental parts rich in this element, such as blood, neurons and other body tissues.

Are we getting enough calcium?

Infants and newborns:

  • Under 6 months: 200 milligrams per day (mg/day)
  • 7 to 12 months: 260 mg/day

Children and adolescents:

  • 1 to 3 years: 700 mg/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 1,000 mg/day
  • 9 to 18 years: 1,300 mg/day

Adult women and men:

  • 19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg/day
  • 50 to 70 years: Men: 1,000 mg/day; Women: 1,200 mg/day
  • Over 71 years: 1,200 mg/day

In times of pregnancy and lactation:

  • 14 to 18 years: 1,300 mg/day
  • 19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg/day

Functions of calcium

In addition to the above, there are also main functions such as the following:

  • It intervenes in hormonal secretions.
  • It exerts activity in the transmission of the nerve impulse.
  • Regulates the permeability of cell membranes.
  • Participates in the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
  • Blood clotting is intimately linked to calcium concentration.

Calcium in the bones

With age, calcium assimilation worsens and there is a tendency to lose bone mass. This leads to less resistance to shocks or falls, with broken bones and future poor healing.

It is known that only between 20 and 40% of the total calcium we ingest is assimilated. However, there are ways to increase this rate of assimilation, such as the vitamin d.

In turn, other nutrients such as vitamin C, fat, protein and lactose also facilitate greater assimilation of this element.

Therefore, milk and dairy products have always been associated as major protagonists in the assimilation of calcium.

In the face of poor assimilation, we must look for foods with more calcium and increase them in our daily diet.

Osteoporosis generates a more porous (and therefore more fragile) bone or bone structure. With 30-35 years we reached the highest volume of bone density. From there, a progressive loss occurs that can be limited with a high assimilation of calcium.

Symptoms of lack of calcium

The body can send us signals of lack of calcium to take action on it.

In the face of insufficient intake, most symptoms become visible and easily identifiable. So if we are a little attentive to the signals of our own body we can quickly realize this possible insufficiency and remedy it. These are the most common symptoms: muscle cramps, insomnia (or lack of deep sleep), dental problems such as cavities, heavy hair loss, brittle nails and bone weakness, which can lead to fractures or rickets.

Currently 8 out of 10 Spaniards do not ingest the recommended amounts of this mineral and we also have deficiencies in vitamins essential for its fixation and absorption, such as vitamin D and vitamin K.

We are therefore talking about a double problem. Need to eat foods with more calcium and introduce into our diet vitamins that facilitate its absorption.

Calcium absorption from some foods

  • On average, 32% calcium from milk and dairy products.
  • 21% of the calcium is absorbed in almonds and other nuts.
  • 17% in the case of legumes
  • 5% in spinach

As you can see, although there are foods with great cantidad of calcium, such as spinach, its absorption is very limited and does not act as an important source of calcium due to its low absorption.

Calcium and vitamin D

Vitamin D is the catalyst in the absorption of calcium, reducing a significant percentage of mineral that is lost through the urine or transformed into insoluble substances (calcium oxalates).

Yes or yes the body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Therefore, we may be supplying all the necessary mineral calcium in our diet, but by suffering a deficiency in this vitamin, we will have the same calcium deficiency problems.

When this happens, the body needs to take calcium from the bones and slowly weakens it.

The vitamin d it is obtained from sunlight or by eating certain foods. Health authorities recommend a consumption of 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D. This, in biological terms, is a value of 0.025 μg cholecalciferol/ergocalciferol

Foods rich in vitamin D: fish, milk, egg yolks, etc.

There are also food supplements of this vitamin on the market. On the other hand, calcium and magnesium supplements are already added with a set of vitamins (specifically D3) to promote their assimilation.

Foods with more calcium

Let’s look at the main foods with more calcium, since not necessarily all of them are dairy or derived from them.

Table of calcium-rich foods based on dairy and dairy products

Foods that, although not providing the highest amounts of calcium, are the ones that are best assimilated in the body. Many dairy products, for example, have vitamin D added to facilitate their assimilation and offer a better response to the consumer.

FoodCalcium concentration (mg)
Whole milk (1 glass)176 mg
Natural yogurt188 mg
Emmental cheese (30 g)315 mg
Camembert cheese (30 g)100 mg
Custard, flan140 mg

Cheese and other dairy products provide many benefits to the body. Controlling the fat content they also provide, several scientific investigations have found a lower rate of metabolic syndrome in people who consume cheese daily. This results in a lower risk of cardiovascular accident and type 2 diabetes. [Study]

The same goes for yogurt, a highly concentrated and easily assimilated source of calcium. In addition to the probiotic potential to regulate the microfauna of our digestive system, it also favors a lower risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes. [Study]

Table of calcium-rich foods based on meat, fish and eggs

FoodCalcium concentration (mg)
Small can of sardines400 mg
1 egg43 mg
Clams, cockles (ration)120 mg
Anchovies (100 g)210 mg
Prawns, prawns220 mg

The canned sardines they are a healthy option to obtain protein, phosphorus and calcium in a balanced way. A can of sardines provides you with 35% of the recommended daily amount for calcium. However, be careful with the contribution of sodium (Na) it contains.

Table of calcium-rich foods based on nuts

FoodCalcium concentration (mg)
Almonds (30 g)75 mg
Pistachios (30 g)36 mg
Lentils (ration)56 mg
Walnuts (30 g)70 mg
Chickpeas (100 g)105 mg

The calcium they provide many seeds it is also very important. We are talking about seeds such as flax, chia, poppy and sesame.

9 grams of poppy seeds contains about 126 mg of calcium, almost 13% of the recommended daily amount.

Almonds are the nuts that contain the most calcium, so it is interesting their moderate daily consumption (close to 30 grams), the unsaturated fatty acids it provides and its high content of digestive fiber.

Table of calcium-rich foods based on fruits and vegetables

FoodCalcium concentration (mg)
Broccoli (150 g)73 mg
Green cabbage (150 g)88 mg
Spinach (150 g)265 mg
Artichokes, green bean40 mg

Enemies of calcium assimilation

Although many foods we eat on a regular basis contain high concentrations of calcium, their assimilation or absorption rate is relatively low. Likewise, we also have the disadvantage of enemies associated with an even lower rate of assimilation.

High amounts of salt

Salt is the enemy of calcium. By taking high amounts of sodium, blood pressure increases and the body’s response is to eliminate more fluids through the urine.

This causes a greater loss of calcium through it, so despite taking foods with calcium we suffer a high loss of the mineral by the toilet.

High amount of fiber

Although fiber is associated with the prevention of many diseases, such as different types of stomach and bowel cancer, in the case of calcium assimilation it does not have them all with it.

This is because this fiber contains a compound known as phytate (phytic acid), which limits the intestinal absorption of calcium and its metabolization to different parts of the body.

This element causes calcium to form insoluble salts of this element. The same thing happens, although not due to phytic acid, in the case of vegetables, such as spinach and cabbage, whose assimilation rate is also low. It is due to the presence of calcium oxalates. That is, practically insoluble substances, which are eliminated with urine and sometimes originate nephritic colic.

Food rich in phosphorus

There must always be a balance between the contribution of phosphorus and calcium, since both contribute to good assimilation and adequate bone density.

However, excess phosphorus causes the exact opposite, a low assimilation of this element. Therefore, through a balanced diet and a good selection of foods with more calcium, we will avoid the problem associated with this mineral.

Excess protein

Normal, balanced protein intake is necessary to maintain adequate muscle mass. However, an excess of protein causes an excessive elimination of calcium through the urine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a consumption of between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per day, although for athletes, these values are usually higher. Therefore, you have to accompany these proteins with foods with more calcium.

Calcium Supplements

If in spite of everything, we do not manage to raise the levels of calcium necessary to avoid osteoporosis problems and lack of bone density, we can also resort to food supplements. Concentrated tablets that we can take during meals and that are supported by the medical community.