What Are Calcium Sources?

As we all know, vitamins and minerals are among the nutrients that are very important for our general health. In the deficiency or excess of these nutrients, some disorders occur. To prevent this from happening, we try to take nutrients into our bodies in a balanced way with food. At this point, we knew which food was rich in which nutrient would make our job much easier. I want to share them as a series. Today, first of all, I will talk about what foods contain calcium. 

What Foods Contain Calcium?

What Is Calcium, What Does It Do?

Calcium is one of the minerals everyone knows, the name of which we frequently hear. It is among the macro minerals. (See: What are Macro and Micro Minerals?)  It constitutes approximately 2% of our weight (approximately 1.2-1.3 kg). However, the vast majority of calcium in the body-approximately 99%-is in the structure of bones and teeth. So, what does calcium do? Calcium has regulatory and structural functions in the body. If we briefly list what calcium does;

  • It is responsible for the contraction of the muscles.
  • It is one of the minerals necessary for the transmission of nerves.
  • It is necessary for enzymes to work.
  • It helps in regulating blood pressure.
  • Calcium is needed to maintain electrolyte balance.

Calcium, which has many functions in the body, must be taken into the body in a balanced way. Let’s look at what’s in calcium for this.

What’s in Calcium?

When we are asked what is in calcium, the first thing that comes to our mind is milk and dairy products. This is true, but the sources of calcium are not limited to this. The source of non-dairy calcium is quite high. Vegetable sources of calcium are as follows:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli)
  • Seeds (such as chia, sesame, and flaxseed)
  • Almond
  • Soy
  • Beans and lentils
  • Dry fig
  • Tofu
  • Sunflower seeds

Apart from these, foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are the richest sources of calcium. Some foods have been supplemented with calcium. Like breakfast cereals and grain-based foods.

Daily Intake Amount

Calcium requirements of individuals vary according to factors such as age and gender. For example, a pregnant person may need more calcium than a normal individual. The average calcium needs of individuals by period are as follows:

  • 1-3 years 500mg
  • 4-8 years 800mg
  • 9-18 years 1300 mg
  • 19-50 years 1000 mg
  • 51+ years 1200mg

For safe use, a maximum of 2500 mg of calcium should be taken into the body during the day. Because excess calcium negatively affects the absorption of some minerals (such as iron).

Low and Excess Calcium

As a result of calcium deficiency in childhood, bone deformities may occur. In adults, a condition called osteoporosis occurs because of calcium deficiency. Osteoporosis means porous bone. Above calcium, you may experience problems absorbing minerals such as iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

As a result, getting enough calcium in our body is important for health in every period of our lives.


Applegate L., Basic Principles of Nutrition and Diet, Trans. Haydar Özpınar, Istanbul Medical Bookstore, Istanbul, 2011.


Güneşer O., Yüceer Y., Minerals and Their Functional Effects, (Ed. Zeynep Banu Güzel Seydim) Functional Nutrition, Sidas Medya, İzmir, 2016, p.203-223.