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calcium food sources

For calcium absorption and retention, whole foods are your best bet. Integrative nutritionist Amanda Archibald, RDN, founder of The Genomic Kitchen, recommends a diverse selection of calcium-rich foods that also deliver nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin K2, and magnesium — all of which support calcium bioavailability.

“Bone is a matrix of nutrients, so we need to eat a wide variety of healthy foods,” she says. “No single food can do it all. That’s not how the body operates.”

Archibald recommends dairy only in cultured form, such as unsweetened yogurt, kefir, or aged cheeses. “Don’t make dairy your go-to for calcium,” she says. “Make it a side conversation, not the focus.” (For more on why dairy can be problematic, see “The Trouble With Dairy” in “Are You Getting Enough Calcium?”)

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences recommends a daily calcium intake of 1,000 mg for women between 19 and 50 years old, and 1,200 mg after that. Men are advised to consume 1,000 mg of calcium daily until age 70, and 1,200 mg afterward. (These values, some skeptics note, are influenced by the dairy industry.)

Serving Size Calcium/Serving
Sardines (with bones) 3 3/4oz. 351 mg
Yogurt (plain, whole milk) 1 cup 296 mg
Amaranth (cooked grain) 1 cup 276 mg
Turnip greens (measured raw) 2 cups 209 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1 tbs. 200 mg
Sockeye salmon (canned, with bones) 3 oz. 168 mg
Collard greens (measured raw) 2 cups 167 mg
White beans (cooked) 1 cup 161 mG
Bok choy (measured raw) 2 cups 147 mg (serving size)
Mustard greens (measured raw) 2 cups 129 mg
Almonds (dry roasted) 1/3 cup 122 mg
Figs (dried) 1/2 cup 121 mg
Kale (measured raw) 2 cups 107 mg
Tempeh 1/2 cup 92 mg
Beet greens (measured raw) 2 cups 89 mg
Sesame Seeds 1 tbs. 88 mg
Chickpeas (cooked) 1 cup 80 mg
Arugula (measured raw) 2 cups 64 mg
Black beans (cooked) 1 cup 46 mg
Broccoli (measured raw) 1 cup 41 mg

Download Sources of Calcium image.

This originally appeared as “Healthy-Food Sources” in “Got Calcium?” in the October 2018 print issue of Experience Life.

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