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15 Ways to Boost Your Calcium Intake

Because 85% of Us Don't Get Enough...

-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
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Green leafy vegetables are high in calcium, but low in calories. One cup of spinach contains almost 250 milligrams of calcium, while a cup of kale has almost 100 milligrams. Broccoli contains 80 milligrams, making it another healthy vegetable to include in your diet. Other excellent sources include canned sardines (325 mg per 3 oz), canned salmon (180 mg per 3 oz), nuts such as almonds, legumes like garbanzo beans or peas, and fortified tofu (130 mg per 1 cup). 

15 simple ways to increase your calcium consumption 
There are many easy ways to boost your calcium intake by sneaking these foods into your daily diet:
  1. Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes.
  2. Grate low-fat cheese over soups and salads.
  3. Enjoy a smoothie made with yogurt .
  4. Use milk instead of water in soups, breads, sauces, or salad dressings.
  5. Add milk to tea or coffee in the morning.
  6. Try plain yogurt as a vegetable dip.
  7. Stir some nuts into a yogurt cup as a snack.
  8. Include leafy vegetables in baked casseroles such as lasagna.
  9. Buy juices and cereals fortified with calcium.
  10. Drink skim milk instead of soda at lunch.
  11. Eat hot oatmeal made with milk for breakfast.
  12. Snack on crunchy broccoli instead of potato chips.
  13. Substitute plain low-fat yogurt for recipes that call for sour cream.
  14. Treat yourself to pudding made with skim milk for dessert.
  15. Take a daily supplement, available in capsules or chewable tablets.
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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

Member Comments

  • SHAHEDBHAI
    sir or madam actually iam 26yrs old i will do sales man job since 6yrs in this period i had
    done lot of ejaculation so after that iam geeting standing problem in my job my right knee joint is geeting pain so i leave my sales job i consult with doctor he told me that my knee liagment is having a acl tear that means my nervers are damgae between the middile of two joints of my knee so i got sugery past 4 months before doctar told that in my body calcium is so less and my vitamin d3 levels also so less in my body so after that now iam geeting so pain in my joints its coming sounds when ever iam moving so now sir iam feeling littile bit same symptoms which i had past 4 months before in my
    left knee so sir pls could u sujust me that wat i have to do for this because iam having marrige after two months i had taken lot of calcium pills i had drink milk with all dry fruits but i think its not working i cant even going job also so pls suggest me - 1/27/2014 9:32:05 AM
  • I'm always sad to see dairy as the main source. A trace amount of dairy will kill me. It's hard to find a way to get my daily calcium amount. I was told (after over 25 years of using it) that my asthma meds caused problems with bones and am stuck with all these joint problems now. I'm struggling to get the needed calcium each day. I do take a supplement to help out but it's still hard. I was drinking a lot of almond milk which has plenty of calcium but I can't seem to find it locally as easily as I used to now. - 12/2/2013 1:21:21 AM
  • Dairy products are NOT the way to add calcium. Due to its acidic nature and protein content, the calcium in milk is poorly absorbed. This is why Asian women in cultures that consume little, if any, milk have lower rates of osteoporosis than Western women who drink the most dairy. The spin doctors from the dairy industry make Big Tobacco execs look like amateurs! Another important point: Americans simply need to drink far less soda in order to uptake calcium better. But even when factors like soda consumption are controlled for, dairy is still linked to osteoporosis and fractures. - 10/26/2013 11:43:05 AM
  • I would have like to see a description of how sodas and sugar and acidizing foods leach calcium and prevent uptake. - 7/21/2013 10:42:37 AM
  • I have heard that adding milk to tea interferes with the absorbsion of tea's antioxidants.

    But LOVE all of the other tips - 5/15/2013 9:51:51 PM
  • MCSURF
    Hannahfish, so glad you shared about the benifits of the Chia seeds. Thank you!

    Blessings! - 1/31/2013 12:39:53 AM
  • MCSURF
    Just read where Chia Seeds have loads of calcium. Am adding them to my diet as soon as the order gets here!

    Blessings! - 1/31/2013 12:37:09 AM
  • OMAYKI
    Having read articles in the past, and my mother's collection of nutrition books, I know that milk and other dairy products, while they do contain calcium, are not healthy. The calcium, cannot be absorbed in the body when it comes from dairy products. I do recommend green leaves, which are generally healthier (especially organic ones) and other vegetable sources. - 1/23/2013 3:02:17 AM
  • TONEDUDE
    The only problem I have with milk or any kind of dairy product like milk is that milk is pasteurized and homogenized which means that is elevated to such temperatures as to kill any enzymes. Milk is enzymatically dead, the human body (our cells) needs these enzymes to assist our cells convert the calcium (or the added vitamin D) so without the enzymes the milk is really just little to no good for your body. Patients with osteoporosis who drink milk and eat yogurt ultimately increase their adipose tissue (fat) while not effecting the advance of osteoporosis. Additionally, pasteurized and homogenized milk is harmful to the development of any newborn and young animal (mammal) including homosapiens, typically compromising the development of the nervous system, among others, ultimately leading to death. The desire for humans to drink milk, in my opinion, is driven by money and politics. Homogenized and pasteurized milk, or anything that undergoes these extremes, truly does NOT do the body any good, unless it is the individuals desire to increase their fat content. Knowledge is power, research via the American medical journal, Johns Hopkins, Don't ask your Doctor or nutritional it's since, unless they are into homeopathic medicine or macrobiotics. Pasture rising and homogenizing milk gives it a longer shelf life. If a lactose intolerant person drank cows milk that was not enzymatically dead (homogenized/past
    eurized) they would suffer no effects at all. - 1/20/2013 3:25:50 PM
  • They mentioned canned salmon but I guess fresh/frozen should also have good doses of calcuim. - 1/19/2013 8:35:25 AM
  • It's also important to keep in mind that calcium cannot do its work properly without the rest of the minerals being somewhat balanced. For instance, magnesium should be in a 1:2 ratio with calcium in your diet (by foods or supplementation or a mix of the two). This means for every 1000mg calcium you take, you should also take in 500mg magnesium. Until I learned this, I never got control of leg cramps (even without exercise), of my higher bp. - 1/18/2013 9:56:39 PM
  • CODSEY
    So glad HANNAFISH mentioned chia seeds. Love to add them to everything with wonderful benefits in texture, taste and nutrients. - 1/18/2013 7:26:29 PM
  • I am trying not to eat more then a serving of dairy a day (2 max as a treat). Most dairy (other then yogurt) leads me to blotted and gasy. As much as I love dairy and live in WI, I don't think it is smart to eat a ton of it. Just like most things moderation is the key. I used in my coffee and cereal (I don't drink whats left in the bowl so it actually is very minumal what I eat with cereal).

    Thing is I don't care for most veggies and they are really expensive in the winter time up here. I don't like canned or forzen spinincah and broccilli makes me what to through up (no seriously I have had to hold it back trying to eat it). - 1/18/2013 10:15:35 AM
  • HANNAFISH
    Also there was no mention of KEFIR. One cup of kefir provides 30 % of the daily calcium requirements. It helps maintain a healthy gut.
    Kefir is also nearly lactose-free because of the fermenting process.
    Yogurt and kefir contain different types of bacteria, each of which perform different tasks.
    Kefir has many times more healthy bacteria then yogurt.
    Kefir continues to produce in the intestinal tract whereas yogurt does not.
    Kefir is easy to make and does not require regulated temperatures to make it. - 1/18/2013 10:09:25 AM
  • HANNAFISH
    Why was there no mention of CHIA or CHIA GEL? Chia has 6 times more calcium than whole milk. It can easily be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, baking, soups, etc. It has no taste that will interfere with the flavors of what you add it to.

    Chia has many other benefits as well.
    1. You and switch out 1/2 of the butter or oil in baking.
    2. It helps balance blood sugar.
    3. Helps prevent Diverticulitis
    4. Anti-oxidants

    Magnesium 15 times more than Broccoli
    Calcium 6 times more than whole milk
    Omega-3 nearly 9 times the amount found in Salmon
    Fiber more than flax seed & 2 times more than bran flakes
    Iron nearly 3 times more than spinach
    Protein more than soy
    Unlike fish, Chia has NO CHOLESTEROL

    - 1/18/2013 9:52:05 AM