8 Ways to Get More Calcium in Your Diet
This important mineral does more than build bones. Find out how you can get more of it in your diet with these simple foods.
Photo By: Brand X Pictures
Photo By: Alessio Cola
Photo By: Edward Westmacott
Photo By: Yungshu Chao
Photo By: Vikif
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Low-Fat or Skim Milk
Milk is one of the most versatile ways to get calcium. A single cup supplies almost a third of the calcium you need each day. Pour it on your cereal, use it to make hot cocoa or blend it with a frozen banana or chopped mango for a healthy milkshake.
Collard greens are an excellent source of calcium. One cup, cooked, delivers 260 mg. And research shows that calcium from cruciferous vegetables, such as collard greens, is well absorbed (calcium from spinach, on the other hand, is not). Two other greens to try? Kale and broccoli also have calcium, although in smaller amounts.
Low-Fat or Nonfat Yogurt
One cup of nonfat or low-fat (1 percent) plain yogurt delivers almost half your daily calcium needs. Make your own flavored yogurt — and save big on added sugars — by mixing in a spoonful of jam. Note: Greek yogurt has less calcium than regular, but it’s still an excellent source with about 290 mg of calcium per cup.
One cup of cooked rhubarb provides a third of your daily recommended calcium intake. Stew it with sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla yogurt, or make a rhubarb chutney for topping pork chops or chicken.
Not into dairy? No problem. Look for a fortified milk alternative (such as soy or almond milk) with a similar nutrition profile to milk. One serving should deliver at least 25 percent of the daily value of calcium and vitamin D.
Part-skim ricotta is one of the most calcium-dense foods around. Just 1/2 cup of part-skim ricotta boasts even more calcium than a cup of milk. Pair it with berries or sliced peaches and a drizzle of honey for a breakfast treat.
In addition to being a great vegetarian protein, tofu is also an excellent source of calcium, supplying 25 percent of what you need each day. Just make sure the tofu is “calcium-set” (this is usually the kind that is packaged with liquid, not sealed in a box).
Just 3 ounces of sardines with the bones gives you a third of your daily calcium needs, along with a healthy helping of brain-boosting omega-3s. Try it plain on toast or gussied up with sherry vinegar and lemon zest.