Calcium is an essential mineral that we consume with food. But in many foods calcium is in the form that our body cannot absorb. Some foods are very rich in calcium, but only a small fraction of it can be utilized in our body. Let’s tale notable spinach as an example: 125 mL (1/2 cup) serving size of spinach contains 115mg of calcium, but only about 5% of it is available to our body meaning that you will actually get only about 6mg of calcium.

Different factors can affect calcium bioavailability. Some food components act synergistically to promote calcium absorption: vitamin D, lactose, casein in milk. Others act just the opposite way preventing calcium absorption.

So, when calculating your daily calcium consumption, keep in mind its bioavailability. To help you with that, we are happy to provide you with the list of foods with relatively good levels of bioavailability.

Major sources of bioavailable calcium – milk and cheese

For centuries, milk and cheese, have been known as the best sources of calcium. Cow’s milk has good bioavailability of calcium (about 30 to 35%). It is estimated that without milk and milk products in the diet, less than half of the calcium requirements would be met.

10 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 250 mL (1 cup)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 300
  • Bioavailability (%): 32
  • Serving size: 42g
  • Average calcium content (mg): 300
  • Bioavailability (%): 32
  • Serving size: 28g (1 slice)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 20
  • Bioavailability (%): 82
11 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 28g
  • Average calcium content (mg): 20
  • Bioavailability (%): 38
11 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 79
  • Bioavailability (%): 54
11 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 61
  • Bioavailability (%): 49
11 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 61
  • Bioavailability (%): 49
11 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 206
  • Bioavailability (%):21
10 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
  • Average calcium content (mg): 89
  • Bioavailability (%): 21
  • Serving size: 110g
  • Average calcium content (mg): 113
  • Bioavailability (%): 22
10 Bioavailable calcium sources
  • Serving size: 126g
  • Average calcium content (mg): 258
  • Bioavailability (%): 31

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