Calcium is a mineral that helps form our bones and teeth. Our body tightly controls the amount of calcium we have circulating in our blood so if you’re not getting enough calcium in through the diet, the body will start to release calcium from its biggest reservoir – our bones – to stabilise blood levels. It’s important to include calcium rich foods (e.g. dairy or calcium enriched alternatives) each day.
People who dislike or are intolerant to dairy products can add more calcium into their diets by including other sources, such as; tinned sardines or salmon (including bones), various green vegetables, calcium rich nuts and dried fruits, or calcium fortified foods.
Some factors can lead to decreased calcium absorption, including; low vitamin D, excessive caffeine and alcohol, some medications, phylates (cereals and brans) and oxalates (spinach and rhubarb).
|Source||Serving Size||Calcium (mg)|
|Milk, calcium fortified||250mL||520|
|Sardines, canned in water||100g||493|
|Pink salmon, canned in water||100g||282|
|Almonds, with skin||12g (10 almonds)||30|
|Dried figs||80g (6 figs)||160|
|Brazil nuts||35g (10 nuts)||53|
|Cabbage, raw||70g (1 cup)||91|
|Broccoli||45g (2 florets)||15|
|Soy beans, canned||200g (1 cup)||106|
NOTE: Low fat dairy products have just as much calcium, and sometimes even more than regular products.