Calcium is one of those minerals you’re always told you need; it’s a major building block in your bones, it plays a vital role in the way your muscles work and is essential for good communication between your cells.
In kindergarden/primary schools you are given milk to keep your calcium levels up because it’s so important, but what happens after that?
Calcium is still really important throughout your life, but many people don’t reach their RDA (recommended daily amount) on a regular basis and if you're deficient in calcium, your body takes calcium from your bones to boost the levels in your blood.
In the long-term, this leads to a loss in bone density! EEK So what food should you be eating?
Well, I can help you there with 3 Top 10 lists for calcium, one for those of you that eat anything, one for those of you who are vegetarians and one for those of you who are vegans.
The foods are listed by portion size and DO NOT include foods that have been fortified with added calcium.
Calcium Top Ten:
1. White bait deep fried - 86% of your RDA 2. Sardines canned –58% of your RDA 3. Bombay duck –49% of your RDA 4. Emmental –39% of your RDA 5. Whole crab - 35% of your RDA 6. Whole sheep’s milk or buffalo milk - 34% of your RDA 7. Cheddar(reduced fat)/Lancashire/Wensleydale/Edam (32%)/ Gouda & Provolone(31%)cheeses – 31 - 34% of your RDA 8. Haloumi - 32% of your RDA 9. Pilchards canned - 30% of your RDA 10. Yogurt - 30% of your RDA
Your Vegetarian Calcium Top Ten:
1. Emmental –39% of your RDA 2. Whole sheeps milk or buffalo milk - 34% of your RDA 3. Cheddar(reduced fat)/Lancashire/Wensleydale/Edam (32%)/ Gouda & Provolone(31%) cheeses – 31 - 34% of your RDA 4. Haloumi - 32% of your RDA 5. Yogurt - 30% of your RDA 6. Other cheeses - 26 - 29% of your RDA 7. Cow’s milk - 25% of your RDA 8. Fat free yogurt - 24% of your RDA 9. Other cheeses – 22 - 23% of your RDA 10. Goats milk - 20% of your RDA
Your Vegan Calcium Top Ten:
1. Mustard spinach – 15% of your RDA 2. Vine leaves in brine - 14% of your RDA 3. Spinach - 14% of your RDA 4. Turnip greens - 14% of your RDA 5. Okra - 13% of your RDA 6. Spring Greens - 13% of your RDA 7. Purple sprouting broccoli - 12% of your RDA 8. Soya beans - 10% of your RDA 9. Baby spinach - 10% of your RDA 10. Tofu - 10% of your RDA
As you can see there’s no one magical food you can eat to get all of your calcium. If you’re adverse to taking supplements or eating fortified foods like I am, then you really need to check your food and make sure that all of the foods you eat will contribute to your calcium intake over a day/week to reach your RDA. So how do you do that?
Well, you can keep a food diary to track your calcium intake, and all of the other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. It only takes 3 minutes a day, we’ve timed it!
It’s really easy when you see your daily report to see which nutrients you are a bit short on and then click on those nutrients to see what foods you need to eat more of the next day. How can you start a food diary?
Simple sign up for our Free for Life account above
Co-founder, production manager
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!