What Vegetables Have Calcium And Vitamin D


What vegetables have calcium and Vitamin D?” As you know, when it comes to a healthy diet, vegetables are the backbone of it. Get some vegetables that are rich in calcium and Vitamin D and you’re making great progress towards a healthier diet. Many vegetables that you eat can give you the vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs. The following five vegetables are high in calcium and vitamin D.

Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Calcium

There has recently been a sharp rise in the number of cases of rickets in the United Kingdom and the United States. This disease is primarily caused by a dietary deficiency in vitamin D and calcium, resulting in the softening of bones and symptoms of bow-leggedness, delayed growth, and weakness.

Vitamins in cows milk - an illustration by gritsalak karalak

Vitamin D and calcium are the mainstays of treatment for persons with osteoporosis, a disease of adults characterized by porous and weakened bones.

What is the function of Vitamin D and Calcium?

Vitamin D is important for the absorption of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus in the body. The minerals are absorbed from ingested food and supplements and deposited in the bone

Calcium plays an important role in maintaining bone architecture, but is also required for regulating other functions such as blood coagulation, heart contractility, and neuromuscular activity.

What are some dietary sources of vitamin D and calcium?


Fish is the best nutritional source of vitamin D. The flesh of fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, are rich in vitamin D. Just 3 ounces of cooked salmon provides nearly 450 International units (IU) of vitamin D. Cod liver oil is another popular source of vitamin D and can provide about 1,360 IU of vitamin D.

Milk and dairy products

Milk and dairy products, such as cheese (particularly ricotta cheese) and yogurt, are rich in both vitamin D and calcium. However, dairy products also tend to be high in fat, so they should be used in moderation as part of a balanced diet to prevent unnecessary weight gain.

Egg yolks

Per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a large egg, weighing approximately 50 g, contains approximately 50 IU of vitamin D3, with the largest concentration of calcium in the yolk.  Including whole eggs in one’s diet can help increase vitamin D intake.


Cultivated mushrooms contain the plant sterol ergosterol, which is a vitamin D precursor. When mushrooms are exposed to sunlight; they naturally produce vitamin D.


Dark green vegetables like kale, spinach, okra, and collards are rich in calcium. These vegetables are an important component of vegan diets, which do not include animal-based foods.

Dietary intakes of vitamin D and calcium are necessary to promote bone health and prevent bone disease. These few natural foods are rich in vitamin D and calcium. Fortification of food with vitamin D and calcium is a safe and effective way to ensure that most people living in the United States and the United Kingdom reach their recommended daily intake levels.

Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age

The foods we eat contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy. Two nutrients in particular, calcium and vitamin D, are needed for strong bones.

  • The role of calcium
  • Calcium culprits
  • Calcium supplements
  • Vitamin D
  • A complete osteoporosis program

The role of calcium

Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates. National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones. To find out how much calcium you need, see the “Recommended calcium intakes” chart below.

Life-stage groupmg/day
Infants 0 to 6 months200
Infants 6 to 12 months260
1 to 3 years old700
4 to 8 years old1,000
9 to 13 years old1,300
14 to 18 years old1,300
19 to 30 years old1,000
31 to 50 years old1,000
51- to 70-year-old males1,000
51- to 70-year-old females1,200
70 years old1,200
14 to 18 years old, pregnant/lactating1,300
19 to 50 years old, pregnant/lactating1,000
Source: Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 2010.

To learn how easily you can include more calcium in your diet without adding much fat, see the “Selected calcium-rich foods” list below.

FoodCalcium (mg)
Fortified oatmeal, 1 packet350
Sardines, canned in oil, with edible bones, 3 oz.324
Cheddar cheese, 1½ oz. shredded306
Milk, nonfat, 1 cup302
Milkshake, 1 cup300
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 cup300
Soybeans, cooked, 1 cup261
Tofu, firm, with calcium, ½ cup204
Orange juice, fortified with calcium, 6 oz.200–260 (varies)
Salmon, canned, with edible bones, 3 oz.181
Pudding, instant (chocolate, banana, etc.) made with 2% milk, ½ cup153
Baked beans, 1 cup142
Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 1 cup138
Spaghetti, lasagna, 1 cup125
Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft serve, ½ cup103
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with calcium, 1 cup100–1,000 (varies)
Cheese pizza, 1 slice100
Fortified waffles, 2100
Turnip greens, boiled, ½ cup99
Broccoli, raw, 1 cup90
Ice cream, vanilla, ½ cup85
Soy or rice milk, fortified with calcium, 1 cup80–500 (varies)
Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004, pages 12-13.

Calcium culprits

Although a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium (salt) in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those with low calcium intake.

Lactose intolerance also can lead to inadequate calcium intake. Those who are lactose intolerant have insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down the lactose found in dairy products. To include dairy products in the diet, dairy foods can be taken in small quantities or treated with lactase drops, or lactase can be taken as a pill. Some milk products on the market already have been treated with lactase.

Calcium supplements

If you have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, you may need to take a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you obtain from food sources. There are several different calcium compounds from which to choose, such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, among others. Except in people with gastrointestinal disease, all major forms of calcium supplements are absorbed equally well when taken with food.

Calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) several times throughout the day. In many individuals, calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken with food. It is important to check supplement labels to ensure that the product meets United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.

Vitamin D

The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin from sunlight, from the diet, and from supplements. Experts recommend a daily intake of 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D up to age 70. Men and women over age 70 should increase their uptake to 800 IU daily, which also can be obtained from supplements or vitamin D-rich foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 4,000 IU per day for adults. However, sometimes doctors prescribe higher doses for people who are deficient in vitamin D.

A complete osteoporosis program

Remember, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like exercise, getting enough calcium is a strategy that helps strengthen bones at any age. But these strategies may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by lifestyle, medications, or menopause. Your doctor can determine the need for an osteoporosis medication in addition to diet and exercise.

The National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center acknowledges the assistance of the National Osteoporosis Foundation in the preparation of this publication.

Vitamin D Rich Foods, Fruits & Vegetables To Add In Your Meals

Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient required by the body to absorb calcium, maintain immune functioning, bone development, and alleviation of inflammation. However, its deficiency can cause various health issues like rickets, leads to poor hair growth, etc. On the contrary, any excess amount of Vitamin D in the body is also not favorable, as it builds up excessive calcium, resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney stones. But you can manage by inducing some vitamin D-rich foods into your routine diet. So, let’s get you through some recommended foods, fruit, and vegetable that are naturally rich in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D Foods

Vitamin D is automatically generated by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Moreover, we also name it the sunshine vitamin. In addition to it, this accounts for roughly 90% of our total Vitamin D, whereas only 10% comes from food. For this, you can spend at least 20 minutes in the sun every day, and it will satisfy your vitamin D requirements.

Vitamin D Foods List

Here we have enlisted some of the vitamin D food sources majorly fruits and vegetables, that can accomplish your requirements naturally and effortlessly.

FoodsVitamin D (International Unit)
Egg yolk18 IU (1 Egg yolk)
Salmon988 IU (100 gram)
Sardines272 IU (100 gram)
Tuna268 IU (100 gram)
Cod liver oil450 IU (1 tbsp)
Mushroom2300 IU (100 gram)
Soy Milk107-117 IU (1 cup)
Orange juice100 IU (1 cup)
Cereal40-100 IU 
Cheese24 IU (100 gram)
Oysters268 IU (6 raws)
Shrimp42 IU (1 large)
Tofu 100 IU (100 gram)
Pork53 IU (100 gram)

1. Cereals

Cereals are considered the best breakfast supported with essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin D, in reasonable amounts. It can provide you with a lighter way to healthier breakfast.

2. Eggs

People tend to avoid eating yolk because they think it contains fats. But the other coin side is that its white part has protein, whereas fats, vitamins, and minerals are found in the yolk. Also, you can try any number of dishes with eggs.

Vitamin D Rich Foods

3. Cheese

Cheese is among the best foods high in Vitamin D. It is valued for its high content of phosphorus, fat, protein, vitamins, and calcium. So, eat cheese raw if you like it, add to your dishes, or try cheese spreads over any kind of bread.

4. Fatty Fish

Oily and fatty fish is also one of the best-known sources as compared to other fishes. A fish can naturally store vitamin D in its liver and fat tissues. Sardines, mackerel, trout are some fish that are food with vitamin D. You can eat boiled fish, toasted, pickled, and in a wide variety of dishes.

5. Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is the next best food that contains vitamin D. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids that have many health benefits, including reduced inflammation and lower BP. In addition, it helps maintain healthy bones, relieves joint pain, aid in treating rickets, and improves eye health.

6. Pork

It’s a generally known fact that pork is one of the vitamin D rich foods along with many other nutrients. You can eat freshly cooked or preserved pork. Mostly the liver of pork is rich in Vitamin D, and pork exposed to sunlight offers much more amount of vitamin.

7. Oysters

Oysters are famous seafood eaten across the globe. They are low in calories but high in nutrients like vitamin D, phosphorus, vitamin B12, copper, zinc, and omega-3s. You can add boiled oysters into your salad, and it not only adds up the taste but will also give you a lot of health benefits.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt, known as curd in India, is an excellent choice for enrichment as it’s good in calcium, protein, and gut-friendly bacteria. Fortified yogurt improves vitamin D levels and offers many health benefits too. It also prevents the development of chronic diseases.

9. Tofu

Vegetarians can gain a good amount of vitamin D in fortified tofu, famously known as cottage cheese. You can take it with different gravies or garnish your salads with it to make it more tasty & enriched.

10. Soy Milk

Soy milk is a plant-based milk product curated by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them thoroughly. It can be easily made at home as well without much effort. Also, it contains the same amount of protein as cow’s milk. It is also high in Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and iron. 

11. Tuna

Tuna is counted under one of the most valuable foods that have vitamin D. Although levels of vitamin D in tuna also vary depending on the type. You can make tuna salad drizzled with olive oil or you can boil or stir fry it and eat it with bread.

12. Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish which is another great food high in vitamin d. It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. It can be made in different ways as you like to eat. However, try salmon with some grilled or baked vegetables for a healthier dinner option.

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