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Essential Calcium Rich Foods
Feb 29, 2024

Boosting Bone Health: A Guide to Calcium-Rich Foods

Maintaining strong and healthy bones is crucial for overall well-being, and calcium plays a pivotal role in bone health. Adequate calcium intake throughout life is essential to prevent bone-related issues such as osteoporosis and fractures. While calcium supplements are widely available, incorporating calcium-rich foods into your diet is a natural and delicious way to ensure your bones receive the nutrients they need. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of calcium, how much you need, and a variety of delectable calcium-rich foods to boost your bone health.

The Importance of Calcium for Bone Health

Calcium is a mineral that is vital for various physiological functions in the body, with the majority (about 99%) stored in bones and teeth. Its primary role is in providing strength and structure to bones and teeth, but calcium is also essential for blood clotting, muscle function, and nerve transmission. Throughout life, the body undergoes a continuous process of bone remodelling where old bone is replaced by new bone tissue. Adequate calcium intake supports this process, ensuring that bones remain strong and dense. The absence of enough calcium can lead to bone loss and an increased risk of fractures, particularly as you age.

Recommended Calcium Intake

The recommended daily intake of calcium varies based on age, sex, and other factors. The following are the recommended levels for calcium intake:
  1. Infants (0-6 months): 200 mg
  2. Infants (7-12 months): 260 mg
  3. Children (1-3 years): 700 mg
  4. Children (4-8 years): 1,000 mg
  5. Children and Adolescents (9-18 years): 1,300 mg
  6. Adults (19-50 years): 1,000 mg
  7. Men (51-70 years): 1,000 mg
  8. Women (51-70 years): 1,200 mg
  9. Adults (71 years and older): 1,200 mg
  10. Pregnant and lactating women: Varies, consult with a healthcare professional
It's important to note that these recommendations may vary, and individuals with specific health conditions or dietary restrictions should consult with a healthcare professional to determine their individual needs. Do note that over-consumption of calcium may lead to side effects in your body which might impact its functioning. If you have a health insurance policy, indulge in regular check-up at your nearest network hospital if you are actively seeking calcium treatment.*

Calcium-Rich Foods to Include in Your Diet

If you plan on boosting or maintaining the calcium levels in your body, these foods can help you in achieving your goal:

Dairy Products

  1. Milk: A classic and excellent source of calcium, one cup of milk provides around 300 mg of calcium. Choose low-fat or fat-free options for a healthier alternative.
  2. Cheese: Varieties like cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss are rich in calcium. A 28 gm serving can contain up to 200 mg of calcium.
  3. Yogurt: A versatile dairy product, yogurt contains around 300 mg of calcium per cup. Opt for plain, low-fat, or Greek yogurt for a nutrient-packed snack.

Leafy Greens

  1. Kale: Packed with nutrients, kale is a powerhouse of calcium, offering about 100 mg per cup. Include it in salads, smoothies, or sautés.
  2. Broccoli: Besides being rich in fibre, broccoli provides approximately 50 mg of calcium per cup when cooked. Spinach: Although high in oxalates, which can inhibit calcium absorption, spinach still contributes around 240 mg of calcium per cooked cup.

Fish and Seafood

  1. Salmon: Canned salmon with bones is an excellent source of calcium, providing around 180 mg in a serving of about 90 gms. The bones are soft and can be easily mashed into the salmon.
  2. Sardines: These tiny fish are loaded with calcium, offering approximately 325 mg in a serving of about 90-100 gms. Choose varieties with bones for added calcium.

Tofu and Soy Products

  1. Tofu: A versatile plant-based protein, tofu is an excellent source of calcium. Depending on the type, it can provide around 150-250 mg of calcium per half-cup serving.
  2. Edamame: These young soybeans are not only delicious but also rich in calcium, offering approximately 100 mg per cup.

Figs and Dates

  1. Dried Figs: Figs are a sweet and nutritious snack that contains about 60 mg of calcium per half-cup serving. They are also rich in fibre and other essential nutrients.
  2. Dates: While primarily known for their natural sweetness, dates contribute around 15 mg of calcium per two dates.
While dates and figs help in providing much needed calcium, if you are a diabetic, it is important to consume them in moderation. If either you or a family member of yours is a diabetic, diabetes tests should be conducted at regular intervals. If you have family health insurance , the test might be covered by the policy. Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under health insurance policy.*

Tips for Optimizing Calcium Absorption

The following tips will assist you in ensuring that your body efficiently optimises the calcium offered by the foods mentioned above:

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Spend time in the sunlight and include vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods in your diet.

Limit Caffeine and Soda

Excessive caffeine and soda consumption can interfere with calcium absorption. Consider reducing your intake of these beverages to maximize calcium absorption.

Exercise Regularly

Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and strength training, help maintain bone density. Combine a balanced diet with regular physical activity for overall bone health.


Prioritizing calcium-rich foods in your diet is a delicious and natural way to ensure optimal bone health. From dairy products to leafy greens, fish, and fortified foods, there's a diverse range of options to suit various dietary preferences. Whether you're sipping on a glass of milk, enjoying a kale salad, or snacking on almonds, incorporating these calcium-rich foods into your daily meals will contribute to strong and resilient bones throughout your life. If you are covered by critical illness insurance, do check the policy document to see if any bone-related diseases are included in its coverage.*   *Standard T&C Apply Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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