10 Calcium Rich Foods You Should Eat During Pregnancy

✔ Research-backed

Your body needs extra nutrients and minerals during pregnancy. Thus, having calcium-rich foods during pregnancy might help give your body the energy it needs and keep the baby healthy. Calcium is an important constituent of the musculoskeletal systemiAn organ system formed of bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues that helps with movement. , and you need to keep your bones strong to bear the additional weight of your developing baby.

Including calcium in your diet helps strengthen the musculoskeletal system and nervous system. On the other hand, calcium deficiency might increase the risk of osteoporosisiCondition that makes the bone bones weak that even little stressors like coughing or leaning over can break them. in the later part of your life. Examples of calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, broccoli, and kale. Read on to know more about the benefits of calcium during pregnancy.

In This Article

1. Milk

Milk and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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Milk is a great source of calcium that is popular across all age groups.According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of milk contains 306 mg of calcium, which amounts to about 30.6% of a pregnant woman’s daily recommended calcium intake. A glass of milk in the morning is the best way to start your day and stay fit. Not only milk but other milk products like yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk, etc., are also rich sources of calcium. So, if you are not allergic to dairy products, consume a good quantity of milk and dairy products as a part of a healthy diet regularly during your special nine months.


protip_icon Research finds
A study suggests that calcium-rich diets in pregnancy may reduce the risk of premature birth, stillbirth, and neonatal mortality (7).

2. Oranges

Organges and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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When we talk about calcium rich foods for pregnancy, Oranges are the best option, if you are not a fan of dairy food products. Apart from this, oranges are also rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C that can boost your immunity and ensure you enjoy a healthy pregnancy. The tangy fruit can also help tantalize your taste buds during bouts of morning sickness!

3. Dates

Dates and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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The exotic fruit is brimming with energy and nutrients. The sweet fruit is rich in Calcium and thus a must-have to safeguard the health of your bones and teeth. Dates are easily available at the grocery stores throughout the year. You can munch dates to pamper your sweet tooth in a healthy way while improving your bone health!

4. Dried Figs

Dried figs and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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You can consume this as a perfect mid-day snack. They are not only rich in calcium but also in fiber content. It will not only strengthen the bones of the little one in your womb but will also end your everyday toilet ordeal as it can cure constipation!

5. Bok Choy

Bok choy and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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The green leafy vegetable is a member of the cabbage family. It is an integral part of Chinese cuisine. So, all those ladies who are lactose intolerant or who do not like the taste of cow’s milk can simply go ahead and add this crunchy leafy green veggie to their pregnancy diet.

6. Oatmeal

Oat meal and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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Porridge oats provide wholesome nutrition as it contains calcium, riboflaviniA type of Vitamin B found in both plant and animal sources. , carbohydrates, folic acid, potassium, etc, essential for fetal development. It is a healthy breakfast food that will keep your tummy full and keep those hunger pangs at bay for a while.

Genki Kitty, an expecting mom, says, “Oatmeal was a favorite of mine before the pregnancy. However, when I got pregnant, I took it off during the first trimester since I was eating mostly beans and vegetables. During the second trimester, I started with oats a few times a week, keeping with beans/rice/vegetables for breakfast most of the time. My oatmeal changed drastically during the pregnancy.
“First, I added protein powders (I used raw vegan protein powder only). As toppers, I used peanut butter, chia seeds and/or flaxseeds, homemade chia seed jam, and occasionally other whole plant-based ingredients such as seasonal fruit. Occasionally, I would make the oats with zucchini, carrots, or other vegetables (i).”

7. Kale

Kale and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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It is similar in appearance to wild cabbage and is a storehouse of calcium. You can consume it in the form of a salad or enjoy it in the form of chips or patties. So ladies, eat Kale to rule out any calcium deficiency related health complications during your pregnancy.

8. Almonds

Almonds, calcium-rich foods during pregnancy

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You can go nuts over almonds! These healthy nuts are replete with the goodness of calcium and Vitamin E. You can add these to your diet today and win compliments for your ‘pregnancy glow’ (1).

9. Broccoli

Broccoli and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

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Broccoli can provide your body with a good dose of calcium during pregnancy. You can add this cruciferous vegetable to your meals to make them more exotic.

10. Tofu

Tofu and calcium rich foods during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

Tofu is one of the super foods rich in calcium during pregnancy that is climbing the popularity charts among fitness enthusiasts. The fact that it is a rich source of nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, proteins, and iron makes it a must-have while expecting. For all those having a discerning palateiA palate with heightened sensitivity and an ability to identify flavors that others cannot. , you can try out the interesting recipes using this nutritious and versatile ingredient. Grilled tofu skewers, tofu and vegetables with peanut sauce are some ideas we can give you.

protip_icon Point to consider
The body receives calcium in two ways: through calcium-rich foods and by absorbing calcium from bones. In the absence of calcium in our foods and bloodstream, the body absorbs it from the bones, making them weaker (6).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which type of calcium is best for pregnancy?

Although all forms of calcium are beneficial, calcium carbonate supplements may be a better option for pregnant women, containing the highest percentage of elemental calcium (2). Nevertheless, pregnant women must aim to meet their calcium needs through food and have supplements if prescribed by a doctor.

2. What causes low calcium in pregnancy?

A decrease in serum albumin and hemoglobin levels during pregnancy reduces micronutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Moreover, a decrease in vitamin D levels interferes with calcium absorption (3).

3. When should a pregnant woman start taking calcium?

Taking calcium supplements or adding additional sources of calcium to your diet towards the second half of your pregnancy may help with a healthy pregnancy by reducing the risks of complications (4).

4. How much calcium do I need daily when pregnant?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, a pregnant woman needs 1000mg of calcium daily (5).

5. Can I take folic acid and calcium together during pregnancy?

Yes. Pregnant women can take folic acid and calcium supplements together during pregnancy. While folic acid is essential for the proper neural tube development (6), calcium can support fetal bone and teeth development.

It is essential to consume calcium-rich foods during pregnancy to promote musculoskeletal and nervous system health. Milk and milk products such as yogurt, kefir, and cheese are rich sources of calcium. Oranges, bok choy, dates, broccoli, almonds, tofu, dried figs, kale, and oatmeal are some of the other calcium-rich foods you can incorporate into your pregnancy diet. Not consuming enough calcium can also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis in later years. You may take calcium supplements as per doctor recommendations during pregnancy and breastfeeding even though calcium-rich foods are consumed.

Infographic: Healthy Calcium-Rich Foods For Moms-To-Be

Calcium is a key building block in the growth of your baby’s teeth and bones. So, it is crucial to have this nutrient’s recommended daily intake (RDI), especially during pregnancy. Fortunately, you can find various delicious ingredients having this mineral. In this infographic, we compiled a list of key calcium-rich foods for pregnant women.

healthy calcium rich foods for moms (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


Pregnant and following a plant-based diet? Learn why calcium intake is necessary during pregnancy. Get tips on how to obtain calcium from plant-based sources to meet your calcium needs for a healthy pregnancy.

Key Pointers

  • Calcium is crucial during pregnancy for strengthening the musculoskeletal system and ensuring the baby’s health.
  • Foods rich in calcium include milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, oranges, dates, dried figs, bok choy, oatmeal, almonds, and tofu.
  • Eating a calcium-rich diet during pregnancy may lower the risk of premature birth, stillbirth, and neonatal mortality.
  • Calcium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life because the body absorbs calcium from bones in the absence of it in food and the bloodstream.
Calcium Rich Foods During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Calcium, vitamin D, and your bones.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000490.htm
  2. Calcium supplements in pregnant women.
    http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/85120/9789241505376_eng.pdf
  3. Abdulrahman Almaghamsi et al. (2018); Hypocalcemia in Pregnancy: A Clinical Review Update.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6206424/
  4. Extra calcium in tablets before pregnancy, or in early pregnancy, for preventing high blood pressure complications of pregnancy.
    https://www.cochrane.org/CD011192/PREG_extra-calcium-tablets-pregnancy-or-early-pregnancy-preventing-high-blood-pressure-complications#:~:text=Calcium%20supplementation%20in%20the%20second%20half%20of%20pregnancy%20reduces%20the
  5. Calcium in pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/calcium-in-pregnancy/
  6. Folic Acid: The Best Tool to Prevent Neural Tube Defects; CDC
    https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/features/folic-acid-helps-prevent-some-birth-defects.html
  7. Dominic Mosha, et al; (2017); Dietary iron and calcium intakes during pregnancy are associated with lower risk of prematurity, stillbirth and neonatal mortality among women in Tanzania.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5387760/
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Dr. Vaishali Sharma

Dr. Vaishali SharmaMD, DSAGE, RCOG Associate

Dr. Vaishali Sharma is a senior consultant gynecologist, laparoscopic surgeon and infertility specialist practicing in South Delhi. With 15 years of experience in various fields of medicine, she is a successful infertility specialist treating blocked tubes through laparoscopic tuboplasty or IVF.  She won two awards at the National Fertility Conclave by The Economic Times and received the “Distinguished Doctor Award”...read full bio