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Foods That Help Absorb Calcium

By Sha Buckines

Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth. But according to the American Dietetic Association, Americans are not getting enough calcium. On average, women consume just a third of the recommended intake while men consume three-fourths. The goal for healthy adults is to consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium up until the age of 50, then the calcium intake requirement jumps to 1200 milligrams. In addition to consuming calcium rich foods, there are certain foods that assist in calcium absorption.

Bok Choy

Bok choy, also known as chinese cabbage, is rich in Vitamin D and an important facilitator in the absorption of calcium. According to Beth M. Lay Ph.D., one cup of bok choy contributes 158 milligrams of calcium and contributes to 54 percent of calcium absorption. The best way to prepare bok choy is sautéed.


One cup of cauliflower contains 34 milligrams of calcium and contributes to 69 percent of calcium absorption. In cauliflower, the largest amount of calcium is found in the greens that surround the head. The best way to prepare this portion of the cauliflower is undercooked. The greens can also be added to salads.


Broccoli is a good source of calcium and phosphorus. One cup of broccoli contains 178 milligrams of calcium and assists in 53 percent of calcium absorption. Give bright green broccoli florets a quick rinse and enjoy raw or steamed.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family. One cup of brussel sprouts contributes 56 milligrams of calcium and assists in 64 percent of calcium absorption. Choose small solid sprouts with green leaves, free of blemishes. Cooked brussel sprouts pair well sautéed in olive oil with walnuts and black pepper.


Kohrabi greens should be deep green with no yellowing. Eaten raw, the stems can be chopped and added to salads. Steamed kohlrabi can be cut into small pieces sprinkled with salt and cooked with very little water. One cup of calcium contributes 40 milligrams of calcium and assists in 67 milligrams of calcium absorption.


One cup of kale contains 94 milligrams of calcium and assists in 59 percent absorption of calcium. The best way to prepare kale is to wash the leaves under cool water to remove dirt and sand. Both the leaves and stems of kale can be eaten. Kale can be sautéed, braised or eaten raw.

Turnip Greens

The best turnip greens have green leaves that are unblemished. Clean turnip leaves as you would spinach and prepare sautéed or cooked southern style with beans and cornbread. One cup of turnip greens contributes 198 milligrams of calcium and assists in 52 percent of calcium absorption.

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