Non-Milk Sources of Calcium

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Non-Milk Sources of Calcium

Topic Overview

Milk, yogurt, and cheese provide a lot of calcium. But there are other foods that have calcium, such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage. You can also get calcium by eating the soft bones of canned sardines and canned salmon. And calcium is sometimes added to tofu, soy and rice drinks, fruit juice, and cereal.

The following non-milk foods can provide calcium for people who don't include milk in their diets.1

Seeds and nuts

Food, serving size

Milligrams of calcium

Almonds, 30 g [1 oz (about 24 nuts)]

75

Sunflower seeds, 60 mL (1/4 cup)

22

Vegetables and greens

Food, serving size

Milligrams of calcium

Broccoli, cooked, 250 mL (1 cup)

62

Kale, cooked, 250 mL (1 cup)

94

Chinese cabbage, cooked, 250 mL (1 cup)

158

Miscellaneous foods

Food, serving size

Milligrams of calcium

Tofu (with added calcium), 1/4 block

163

Canned salmon with bones, 90 grams (3 oz)

181

Calcium-fortified orange juice, 250 mL [1 cup (8 fl oz)]

500

Calcium-fortified soy milk, 250 mL [1 cup (8 fl oz)]

282

Notice that some greens, notably spinach and Swiss chard, are not included in this list. Even though these foods have a lot of calcium, very little calcium from these foods is available to the body, because the foods contain binders that prevent the calcium from being absorbed.

Some people who avoid dairy foods take supplements to be sure they are getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

If you are concerned about your diet and calcium intake, talk to a registered dietitian.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2010). Nutrient data laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. Available online: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised March 29, 2011

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