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Top Calcium-Rich Foods

Is eating more dairy food products really the only way to get more calcium in your diet? Find out...

Dairy products are a great way to meet your calcium needs for the day. If you’re allergic or can’t tolerate dairy, you can fulfill your daily calcium needs by consuming other foods, such as broccoli, nuts and orange juice. Try to get the daily recommended amount of 1,000-1,200 mg per day.

Here are the top sources of calcium and tips for packing them into your diet.


Are you eating or drinking the right type of dairy product to get your calcium? Chances are if you need to raise your calcium intake, you will reach for a cold glass of milk. One cup of milk can supply you with 300 mg of calcium, 30% of the value you need each day. Cheese is another good option: One ounce can give you 100-350 mg of calcium.

But what is the better choice? Yogurt! One cup of plain, nonfat yogurt offers a whopping 490 mg of calcium! Eat yogurt for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. It's an easy way to meet your calcium needs because it comes prepackaged in single servings and is portable.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Certain vegetables can supply you with a decent amount of calcium, such as broccoli, which supplies 45 mg calcium in just 1/2 cup cooked. But it’s really the greens (leaves) of the plants that hold the riches. One-half-cup of cooked greens - which could include mustard greens, turnip greens or the greens of a beet - gives you 100 mg calcium per serving.

Nuts & Beans

Believe it or not, just 2 ounces of almonds can give you 150 mg of calcium, 15% of your daily need. One cup of black or navy beans has about 120 mg calcium per serving, while soybeans pack a 175 mg punch per serving!

In fact, if you’re not a milk-drinker and you want to enjoy a morning latte, consider swapping cow’s milk with soymilk! Most places will carry calcium-fortified soymilk, providing you with 350 mg in just one cup (equaling an 8-oz latte).

Fish with Bones

Not everyone likes sardines, but if you do you’re in luck! Sardines are packed whole, meaning the bones are still there. Although softened considerably, these bones supply 65 mg calcium in just 3 oz. Try sardines on pizza for a salty, calcium-dense treat. Canned salmon with bones will give you almost three times the calcium per serving, packing 180 mg in the same 3 ounces. Don’t worry about getting the bones stuck in your throat; they’ve been softened during the canning process.

Fortified Foods

Many breakfast cereals and other grain products are now fortified with certain nutrients to help you reach the correct daily values without having to eat what you don’t like. Fortified cold cereal can supply a whopping 345 mg of calcium in just one cup. If you’re concerned your family isn’t getting enough calcium, consider switching your bread to a fortified version, which can provide about 180 mg calcium per slice of bread. Don’t forget the orange juice! Just one cup of calcium-fortified orange juice will give you 285 mg.

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