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Good Foods for Healthy Bones

Posted in Fact Sheets


What Foods Contain Calcium?

The richest sources of calcium in the diet are dairy foods such as:

ü  Milk

ü  Yogurt

ü  Cheese

The human body easily absorbs calcium from dairy foods, and therefore they are the best sources of calcium in the diet.

Calcium is also found in other foods such as peas, beans, green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and cabbage, softened bones of tinned fish such as sardines or salmon, white bread and dried fruit. However, these are poorer sources, as you’d need to eat large amounts to get enough calcium.

For example 1 glass of milk contains the same calcium as 10 servings of baked beans 

How Much Calcium Do I Need?

The Department of Health/HSE 2016 Food Pyramid guide recommends the following servings:

What is a serving?

Other Sources of Calcium

If you are not able to consume dairy products, there are other foods that contain calcium including: 

Meal and snack ideas to increase your calcium intake

Vitamin D

It is found naturally in oily fish e.g. sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, and trout; eggs and liver and it can also be found added to foods such as fat spreads fortified with vitamin D,  fortified milk, fortified yogurt and cereals.

The benefits of dairy products

Dairy products and allergies

Allergy to the protein in cows’ milk is rare in adults. If present it must be treated with a milk free diet.

You may need to speak to a dietitian to ensure that you are getting adequate calcium from other sources. Lactose intolerance can occur in people following a bout of gastroenteritis. It is usually temporary. During this period you do not need to completely avoid milk products, but to limit them.Cheese and yogurt are usually better tolerated than milk.

*If you would like more information on calcium sources search for a Dietitian on our website.


 Created by Bernie Dennehy RD CORU Registered Dietitian. Member of the INDI.


© 2019 Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, INDI. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with a dietitian. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.



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