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.footnote 1

Seeds and nuts

Food, serving size

Milligrams of calcium

Almonds, 1/4 cup (60 ml)

93

Tahini/sesame seed butter, 2 tablespoons (30 mL)

130

Vegetables and fruit

Food, serving size

Milligrams of calcium

Collards, cooked, ½ cup (125 mL)

189

Kale, frozen, cooked, ½ cup (125 mL)

95

Orange juice, fortified with calcium, ½ cup (125 mL)

155

Other foods

Food, serving size

Milligrams of calcium

Tofu (with added calcium), 3/4 cup (150 g or 175 mL)

234-347

Canned salmon with bones, 2 ½ oz (75 g)

179-208

Calcium-fortified soy beverage, 1 cup (250 mL)

319-324

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. Health Canada (2008). Nutrient value of some common foods. Ottawa: Health Canada. Also available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/nutrient_value-valeurs_nutritives-eng.php.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian

Current as ofJuly 26, 2016