11 Foods High in Calcium

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Chia Seeds

We all know that we need adequate amounts of calcium in our diet for strong bones and teeth. Most people associate calcium with the consumption of cow’s milk, although recent research reveals a different story.

Although homogenized and pasteurized milk does have high amounts of this important mineral, it is not well absorbed or utilized in the body. Milk products often contain high levels of toxins like bovine growth hormones and antibiotics. The good news is that there are many other great foods that are high in calcium easy to incorporate into your daily diet. I must note however that raw organic goat or cow milk is a good source of calcium.

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1. Sesame Seeds

These white little seed-wonders are very high in calcium, as well as other important vitamins and minerals.

Raw sesame seeds possess almost 1000 mg of calcium per 100g serving. Tahini butter, a popular sesame seed-based nut butter has 426mg per 100g serving.

2. Chia Seeds

Many people are unaware that chia seeds are very high in calcium (as well as the beneficial Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids needed for health). A 3.5 ounce serving can provide about 631mg of calcium.

3. Dark Leafy Greens

From greens to spinach to kale, getting our calcium from dark, green, leafy vegetables is a an excellent health choice. Spinach ranks very high in calcium, with 56mg of calcium per cup. A 100g serving of collards packs a 145 mg calcium punch. One cup of steamed bok choy has around 158 mg of the mineral. Kale ranks in with 139mg of calcium and the spicy mustard green has 103mg of calcium per 100g serving.

5. Oranges


One cup of freshly-squeezed organic orange juice offers approximately 72 mg of calcium. Not to mention plenty of vitamin C, which will significantly improve the amount of calcium your body absorbs. Besides vitamin C and calcium, oranges are also a great source of potassium, vitamin A and beta carotene.

6. Quinoa

A light and healthy whole grain, one cup of cooked quinoa offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.

7. Blackstrap Molasses

This is an excellent sweetener for teas and baked goods. High in multiple vitamins and minerals, one tablespoon of this thick, dark molasses will give you 172 mg of your daily calcium needs. Try it in your morning cup of organic tea or coffee.

8. Beans

Many common beans are high in calcium. Winged beans possess 442mg of calcium per 100g serving. Many white beans are very high in calcium. Most white beans have approximately 175mg of calcium per serving. Navy beans are also a great source of calcium, with 127 mg per cup.

8. Broccoli

One cup of these green florets offers approximately 74 mg of calcium, along with 120mg of vitamin C which will help your body absorb the calcium. Broccoli also contains a high amount of vitamin K, vitamin A, foliate and dietary fiber.

10. Dried Fruits and Nuts

Many dried fruits are high in calcium. In fact, eating five dried figs per day gives you 135 mg of calcium. Almonds are also extremely high in calcium. Raw, or ground into nut butter, almonds hold 266mg of calcium per 100g.

11. Dried Herbs

Dried Herbs

Who would have thought that adding dried herbs to your dishes would increase your calcium intake? Dried savory spice holds a whopping 2132mg of calcium per 100g serving. Other dried herbs that are calcium rich include dill, basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano, poppy seed, mint, celery seed, sage, parsley and rosemary.

Other Sources of Calcium

Aside from the foods listed above, there are many other ways to get calcium in your diet. I recommend supplementing your diet with a calcium supplement. I only recommend IntraCal™ calcium orotate. Calcium orotate is the most absorbable form of calcium and is the only calcium supplement I recommend if you’re truly trying to achieve the benefits of proper calcium levels.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • betty walker

    but see web: cal cium needs mag nes + vit D
    what about plaque (2 much cal )?

  • V. K. Kansal

    The statements made about milk are totally wrong and misleading. It seems to be intentially targeted against milk. Indeed milk is the best natural source of calcium, and its bioavailability is highest in the entire food spectrum. The vegetable/ cereal/pulse/nut calcium is poorly available due to the presence of phytates and oxalates. Indeed milk nutrients like lactose, vitamin D, citruc acid and phosphorus help to improve the bioavalibility of calcium. Milk is the only food that has calcium to phosphorus ratio required for calcium better assimilation. Talking of toxin in milk is misleading. Indeed vegetable foods contain more toxins than milk

  • Suniface

    All of the research I have done, says that although milk has calcium in it, it isn’t the best source. Plant based diets are more nutritious and contain all the nutrients needed for healthy living. I am lactose intolerant and have had to find alternative ways of getting my calcium. In finding these alternatives I have found the intake of animal products, and specifically the casein contained in animal products is harmful. Also, plants themselves are not toxic. Plants grown in soils raped of micro-nutrients and saturated in pesticides, like those sold in most grocery stores, could be considered toxic, but I’d still rather consume that than milk, that comes from a cow, fed only genetically modified corn, kept in a small inclosure standing in it’s own feces. We are meant to drink OUR mother’s milk, not another animals mother’s milk. …Just what I have found in my research.

  • Adam

    Plant based diets are a fad – Meat is loaded with nutrition. Research is nothing if you don’t live it. I only say this because I track my food and nutrients daily. And I’m not saying don’t eat vegetables, just saying all food has nutrition regardless of it’s source. The idea that plant only diets contain all nutrients is misleading and feels like propaganda. Saying all milk is loaded with antibiotics is like saying all vegetables are loaded with pesticides. There is such a thing as antibiotic/hormone free cow milk, just like there is such a thing as organic/pesticide free vegetables. I think you should provide further explanation of what you mean ‘soils raped of micro-nutrients’ because I don’t think you know how that is possible. Dirt is dirt. And nutrient content will vary from location to location and the only way you would know if your food was ‘raped’ of micro-nutrients is if you went into a lab and tested the soil where your food came from and tested the food you eat daily. And simply saying you have done research does not prove you have done anything at all regardless of being an expert or not.

  • Jack

    From the page above:

    “Spinach ranks very high in calcium, with 291 grams of calcium per cup”

    I don’t THINK so… milligrams, perhaps? Even that seems high.

    29.1 milligrams is closer to accurate.

  • NoMoreVitamins

    Let me forward this to you from theHealthFoodGuru:

    Did you know GMOs are allowed in all vitamins and supplements, including everything you eat? Except one! GMOs damage organs, tissue, nerves and weaken your immune system, yet you wouldn’t know it, because the FDA still does not force labeling of GMOs on ANY label that has it — yes, a conspiracy to make you sick and keep you that way if I ever saw one. In fact, did you know that the USDA only requires 95% organic ingredients for anything certified organic? That means you are ingesting GMOs for the other 5%! citric acid, guar gum, natural flavors and many more are added to certified organic and all are GMOs! Want to see the only food in the country guaranteed to have no GMOs and is 100x more nutrient dense than any vitamin or supplement, because it’s certified 100% Organic?

  • ali

    Do you really think a calcium supplement that is not paired with Magnesium is safe?? More important than the amount of Calcium you are getting is the ratio between Ca and Mg. Always use a CalMg supplement rather than a Ca only. 2:1 is ideal for Ca:Mg

  • Margaux

    We are meant to drink cow’s milk as much as we are meant to drink horse, elephant or chihuahua milk: http://on.fb.me/QJsuJL . Cow’s milk is intended for baby calves. It is NOT good for us. Many other calcium rich foods have higher absorbability than calcium. Just do a little more research and you will soon see that it was very successful marketing by both the milk and meat industries that lead to current popular belief. We have been off meat and dairy for a long time…is our family lacking any nutrients? Please feel free to see how my own family is doing without dairy here: http://bit.ly/I9pZyz

  • worldmoringa

    Calcium jackpot: Moringa

  • marcyg

    I looked on the label of my organic sesame seed butter and a serving size is 2 tablespoons – which is 30 grams in weight. To consume 100 grams as suggested above would be the equivalent of eating more than 6 tablespoons in one sitting! That sounds like too much to eat for one serving.

    Using kale as another example, one small to medium sized salad bowl of kale is around 35 grams by weight which is only 18 calories! To eat 100 grams would be a pretty huge bowl of greens.

    I guess the idea is to get our calcium from a variety of natural foods but maybe more realistic serving sizes could have been suggested.

  • Cathy Brook

    There is so much information available these days and lots of it very interesting. I feel we need to find our own balance in eating foods which make us feel well. Oh, the articles is talking about milligrams of nutrients per 100 gram serves. Yes it seems, to be vegetarian, vegan, or rely on nutrients from vegetables and fruit we just need to increase the serve and eat them at every meal in variation. Not impossible.

  • Cathy Brook

    Check out article again, they are talking milligrams not grams of nutrients per 100 gram serve.

  • Cathy Brook

    I think soils become raped of nutrients by being overarmed and then the nutrients not being replaced. Our top soils are diminishing and in australia a lot of our soil is nutrient deficient. Organic farmers may feed there soil better.

  • aiming for health

    would be helpful to know what the daily calcium target is otherwise the mg amounts are a bit out of context.

  • ghc_health

    Thanks for your post! IntraCal actually has both Calcium and Magnesium Orotate, so not only does it have it in the product but Orotates are one of the best absorbed that you can find.

    I hope that this helps you!

  • Julie

    In the US, we consume more dairy products than any other industrialized nation yet have the highest rate of osteoporosis. If dairy products were such a wonderful source of calcium for human beings, this just wouldn’t be the case. The protein casein in milk triggers your body to release acid, which in turn causes your body to take calcium from your bones to neautralize the acidity. It’s a shame that people think they are being healthy and strengthening their bones by consuming dairy because they are doing the exact opposite. An idea perpetuated by the USDA which originally started off as a sort of dairy lobby. Lets start some critical thinking here people.

  • beccadoggie10

    If dairy was so wonderful in prevention of osteoporosis and building bone, I would have strong bones and no osteoporosis. And, I’m not alone. My mother raised us to consume at least two glasses (8-12 oz glasses) of milk per day, plus cheese, yogurt and other calcium rich dairy foods. She also drank at least two glasses a milk per day. And alike me, she had osteoporosis.

    I consumed as much as 1 qt. low fat yogurt per day during my late 60’s and it did noting to prevent osteoporosis. In 2006, I fractured my hip and upped my consumption of dairy, weight bearing exercises were done as part of physical therapy, but unfortunately I did not continue because I kept getting breaking bones or getting injured in other ways.

    In 2012, fractured 5-lumbar spine and this year another spinal fracture occurred. Now, to reduce pain and inflammation to which dairy and meat contributes, I eat high quality but low fat vegan. I receive my calcium from beans, seeds, nuts, but mostly from dark leafy greens like collards. I’m eating 1200 mg calcium per day through my food, part of which is cooked to reduce oxalates.

    Vitamin D comes from the sun and from fish oil as vitamin D3, but collards and other dark leafy veggies give me vitamin K and miso and fermented foods give me vitamin K2, needed to keep the calcium in my bones and out of my blood stream.

    What I need now, (if it will ever stop raining) is to walk and rebuild my strength for more weight bearing exercises.

    Dairy, as much as I loved it, did not help me prevent osteoporosis, and increases inflammation and pain, blood cholesterol and possibly more disease. I think there is a lot of propaganda with milk. Otherwise, I would be a good example of bone health. And, I’m not!

  • That vitamin D is synthetic, though, in a form that our bodies have a hard time absorbing (D2 instead of D3, which is better processed). It’s not the real thing. Vitamins are complex and you can’t just isolate it and add to everything thinking it will be just sooo great. Isolated ascorbic acid (synthetic vitamin C), for example, only contains a small part of the whole vitamin C structure. It actually causes harm in that it destroys intestinal flora necessary for immunity, because it is *not actually vitamin C*. Same with the crap they add to food. Isn’t that calcium synthetic as well!? Our body doesn’t even know what to do with these so -called nutrients. They are chemicals! They can never compete with naturally available nutrients which unfortunately get cooked out through pasteurization in many of the foods in the store, and then ‘fortified’ with the synthetic ones instead. Stupid!

  • Aaand I do eat animal products, I just think milk is disgusting and really detrimental to health because of its’ processing. Chia seeds are where it’s at, yo.

  • Yes! And places where they hardly consume dairy and get their calcium from leafy greens instead, such as Southern China I believe, have almost non-existent osteoporosis rates. I think this has to do with not just the right sources of calcium but also making sure you have enough physical activity, which is extremely bone-strengthening on its’ own, since a majority of the population farm/walk/move around more than people here in the USA in general.

  • John Carter

    Oh please…

    It is fact that we are raping the land, depleting the essential minerals and soil structure that was once in the soil. Just adding some chemical fertilizer so we can keep prices down and make money…

    Meat is secondhand nutrients anyway, this is only commonsense.

    As for milk… seriously, whether you believe in evolution or creation, it is pretty obvious that milk is for growing babies. Time to grow up perhaps.

    Finally, vegetarians who drink milk… are not really vegetarians because the same proteins and cholesterol are in the milk, so it is a liquid variant of meat…

  • John Carter

    But you are on the right track…

    Make a nice Kale salad with slices of orange and a tahini dressing 🙂

  • John Carter

    Vitamin K2 will prevent Plaque build up in your arteries 🙂
    You can get good sources of Vit K2 in Natto or Kimchee…
    and other fermented foods…
    or drop another pill

  • Craig

    Clueless fool. 1 cup of Almonds contains more calcium than one cup of milk. Milk is a refined food because the pasteurization kills off essential enzymes needed to properly digest it therefore rendering most of it’s nutrients poorly digestible. It is also unsuitable for many due to lactose intolerance for the same reason, it is a refined food. For the record, I am a naturopath trained in healthy eating and nutrition. What about you? Dairy industry employee perhaps?

  • Penny

    Green smoothies Marcy! You can fit so many greens into one drink and all the cells walls are broken down so that you can assimilate the nutrients easily.

  • No one

    Actually milk is for baby COWS. Human breast milk is good for humans for the 1st year of life – we are not cows, we should not drink cow milk!

  • someone

    Ever thought that maybe people in southern china are under-diagnosed when it comes to osteoporosis? Also, your advice is terrible. Physical activity+not enough calcium will probably lead to stress fractures.

  • critical tinker

    Your plugging the vitamin you sell here and I don’t trust you because you said spinach was a good source of calcium which DUH it is NOT! It has no bio-availability because the oxalate binds to the calcium rendering it useless, so we might get 5% of the calcium from spinach! Smoke weed much or are you even a real Dr?

  • mike

    imagine breast feeding from a cow…..good luck V.K……

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  • Ted

    Bone broths are also high in calcium and can be part of a traditional human diet, fish broths in particular are great!

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  • me

    Then I’m sure you’re aware that the massive amounts of oxalates and phytic acid makes most of the calcium in almonds undigestable, right? They’re even worse than pasteurized milk in terms of bioavailability.

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  • Bel Dym

    Calcium rich food, plus exercise help strengthen bone and keep making new bone. If you only eat calcium and do not exercise, you will still be a risk of fractures. A combo of both is the best formula.

  • Bel Dym

    Sir, you should read more about milk. Milk is only for babies. Adults do not need milk! Milk affects inflammatory processes in the body. Research and you will understand that milk is not good for you.

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  • Mpala Charles

    hi one natural scientist said the cause of early growth of gray hair is due to lack of calcium.what is your take?

  • Who said that?

  • Mpala Charles


  • It could be a factor but I haven’t seen that information!

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  • Organic Pancho

    You left out lambs quarters. One of the highest vegetable options for Ca.

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  • Orion Antares

    You need to do an addition to this that includes actual availability ratios. As noted, spinach for example barely has any calcium available to the body. There are several foods that have more availability than dairy and several that have less availability. I believe the DRI for calcium is based on the availability in dairy, so it worth knowing which foods have more available calcium and which foods do not.

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  • Michelle Thuldanin

    THANK YOU for this article. I’m so tired of all the fortified milk product, soy and juice advice. Humans have been around forever, what did they do before we started “improving” food to get what they needed when variety was low and local?

  • Michelle Thuldanin


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  • cinni sweet

    Not all milk is created equal. Pasteurized, homogenized grain-fed and hormone injected cows milk isn’t the same thing as grass fed raw milk form healthy happy grazing cows that get sunshine and are free to roam about.

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  • Kooner

    Not if you soak the almonds 24 hours in water! You’ll release these anti nutrients, because the water ‘wakes the almonds up and they begin to sprout (almond is a seed after all). This way the almonds becomes easier to digest. If you put them in a smoothie, it’s even easier for the body to absorb the nutrients. Or make your own almond milk with a nut milk bag!

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