It’s long been known that calcium is one of the most important minerals, and the average amount an individual should consume is anywhere between 1,000-1,300mg per day. Women need 1,000-1,200mg calcium per day to ensure healthy bone density and strong teeth. Pregnant and nursing women need even more.

Many American women do not get this daily dose thanks to their unhealthy lifestyles. This increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss, and could also lead to PMS and PCOS issues in younger women. You can make up for this deficit by turning to natural foods.

Unlike what is normally believed, calcium is not available only from dairy products. And there really is no need to pop pills. We give you a list of calcium-rich edibles, as well as recipe suggestions so you can incorporate them into your diet.

Just a three-ounce, or around seven fillets serving, can give you 325mg calcium, besides, vitamin D and omega-3 fats. They’re delicious and can be easily added to your diet, just add them to salads, blend them into a mash and incorporate them in pasta sauces, beef stews and casseroles for an umami boost. Eating small fish is not just good for your body but can even be a more economical and eco-friendly choice. Although they are the highest in calcium content, other species of fish are also substantially rich in the mineral. Here are five recipe suggestions for you to try out:

  1. Herbed Trout Fillets With Steamed Dandelion Greens
  2. Amchur Chat Masala Caramelized Black Cod
  3. Halibut Tacos
  4. Spanish Mackerel En Papillote
  5. Lobster & Spanish Mackerel Ceviche

Leafy Greens
Calcium can be found aplenty in green vegetables like bok choy, arugula, kale, collard greens, broccoli, broccolini, dandelion greens and turnips, almost all of which are also rich in folate and vitamin K, which also aid in maintaining bone health. Kale packs in 150mg calcium per 200g, and is full of fiber and essential nutrients, while 200g spinach will give you 198mg calcium.

Whether you eat them raw or cooked does make a difference to how much of their mineral content you absorb, though. Spinach, for example, is a great source of iron, but when cooked, it has 0.86mg more iron per 100g serving, than the raw version. Either way, try to eat as many leafy greens as possible but ensure that they are organic as far as possible and please clean them well before eating. Here are some recipe suggestions for you to try out:

  1. Garlicky Collard Greens
  2. Kale Salad With Maple-Mustard Dressing
  3. Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
  4. Farfalle Pasta With Sausage And Broccolini
  5. Marinated Chicken With Broccoli
  6. Sautéed Broccoli With Garlic
  7. Poached Egg & Arugula Salad
  8. Arugula Salad With Macadamia Nut Dressing
  9. Goat Cheese & Arugula Omelet
  10. Arugula Salad With Shaved Manchego Cheese

Almonds & Sesame Seeds
Nuts and seeds are some of the best sources of calcium since a mere handful will contribute a significant proportion of the daily recommended dose; while the exact amount depends on which seeds and nuts you choose to eat, sesame seeds and almonds clearly are the winners in this category. Eaten on their own or added to other foods, they are reliable and easily available calcium-boosters. Here are some recipe suggestions for you to try out:


  1. Peaches & Nectarines With Cashew Almond Cream
  2. Almond Flan With Raspberry Sauce
  3. Almond Butter Balls
  4. Double Cherry Almond Muffin
  5. Guilt-Free Chocolate Almond Pudding

Sesame Seeds

  1. Udon Noodles With Spicy Sesame Dressing
  2. Sesame Crusted Fish (Or Tofu)
  3. Sesame Tahini Sauce With Onions Over Udon
  4. Pan-Seared Sesame Seed & Nori Encrusted White Fish With Marinade Reduction
  5. Healthy Sesame Cookies Recipe

They’re lusciously sweet, and high in fiber and iron, but best of all, figs contain anywhere between 20 to 30mg of calcium, per piece. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to east them fresh or dried, just eat more of them. Roast or grill them, blend them into smoothies, chop them up and add them to salads or just eat them raw. Here are some recipe suggestions for you to try out:

  1. Prosciutto Wrapped Figs
  2. Honey Roasted Figs
  3. Almond Banana Fig Smoothie
  4. Spinach, Fig, Walnut & Buratta Salad With Honey Vinaigrette

Simply add more of these items to your regular meals instead of popping calcium supplements.

Image: Shutterstock

PS: Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
Quick and easy 
Nutrition tips here.

Read More:
6 Calcium-Rich, Dairy-Free Alternatives To Milk
6 Superfoods To Keep Your Bones Healthy & Prevent Osteoporosis
Are You Aware Of These 6 Calcium Deficiency Signs?

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.