10 tasty ways to top up on calcium

We need to regularly replace calcium in our bodies to keep our bones and teeth strong, but it's not just milk that can boost your calcium levels. Here's our guide to some of the more surprising calcium-packed foods.

Calcium is the most common mineral found in the body. Hosted almost exclusively in our skeleton, calcium firms the structure of our bones, which are mostly made of flexible collagen. While bones and teeth feel like solid structures, they are actually constantly changing, with old bone being destroyed and new bone being created all the time.

So it’s important that we continue to fuel our bones with enough calcium to replace the bone matter that is lost through its natural destruction.

1. Ovaltine

This warming bedtime tipple is a malted milk drink, made of malted barley, wheat flour and whole milk. All malted milk drinks are extremely high in calcium, providing between 440–710mg in a 25g serving in 200ml of milk.

2. Hot chocolate (made with water)

If malted milk isn’t for you, swap it for a hot chocolate. You needn’t add milk, a light version of hot chocolate with hot water will provide a 200mg hit of calcium.

3. Yoghurt

At breakfast time or for dessert in the summer months, a 120g pot of yoghurt will provide 200mg of calcium. Add tangerine segments for an additional 37mg boost.

4. Sardines

Sardines are a good savoury source of calcium, with roughly 258mg of calcium in half a tin of sardines with bones. Throw some in a salad with black olives, capers, red wine vinegar and olive oil for a fresh and filling lunch.

5. Scampi

If scampi is your preferred fish, you’re in luck, because it is also a great source of calcium, providing 190mg in six pieces of breaded scampi.

6. White or wholemeal bread

Being full of wheat flour, bread is a great source of calcium. White bread provides 100mg for every two slices, while wholemeal flour produces 54mg.

7. Oranges

Not only are they packed with vitamin c, oranges also have one of the highest calcium contents of any fruit, with 75mg for each medium sized orange. That’s 10 percent of your daily calcium intake.

8. Tofu

If you like to replace meat with Tofu, then you’re on to a calcium winner, with 60g of some tofu containing 200mg of calcium, but only if it’s set with calcium chloride or calcium sulphate.

9. Rice pudding

Half a tin of good old fashioned rice pudding contains 176mg of calcium from the milk used in the recipe, meaning this classic tummy warmer is also helping you build healthy bones.

10. Custard

And finally, one serving of custard (120ml) provides 120mg of calcium. So you can rest easy that pouring it indulgently on your apple crumble will at least be benefitting your bones, if not your waistline.

Last updated Tuesday 20 September 2022

First published on Monday 22 June 2015