Bone Health

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)
Dairy Sources
Milk, calcium fortified 250mL 520
Regular milk 250mL 300
Soy milk 250mL 310
Tofu, firm 260g 832
Natural yoghurt 200g 386
Cheddar cheese 20g 160
Sardines, canned in water 100g 493
Pink salmon, canned in water 100g 282
Snapper, grilled 100g 163
Plant Sources
Tahini 20g 66
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
Silverbeet ½ cup 87
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.