A number of groups of people have a difficult time meeting their daily calcium needs, which for adults is 1,000 milligrams to 1,200 milligrams a day. Finding various ways to up your intake may help you get closer to meeting your needs. Nuts are rich in nutrients that promote health, but you may not think of them as a source of calcium. Some, such as almonds, are an especially good source of the bone-building mineral.
Almonds for Calcium
If you like to eat nuts and are trying to get more calcium in your diet, almonds make the best choice. A 1-ounce serving of almonds contains 75 milligrams of calcium, meeting 8 percent of the daily value. Eating your almonds with a food rich in vitamin D may help improve calcium absorption. For example, you can add slivers of almonds to your grilled salmon or whole almonds to your container of yogurt.
Bone-Building Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are not as good a source of calcium as almonds, but they can help you get closer to your daily needs. A 1-ounce serving of the large nut contains 45 milligrams of calcium, meeting 4 percent of the daily value. Brazil nuts are also a significant source of selenium, meeting 767 percent of the daily value in the same serving.
Using Brazil nuts as a regular source of calcium may not be the best idea because you may experience selenium toxicity if you consume too many. Signs of toxicity include a metallic taste in the mouth or brittle hair and nails. Just four to five Brazil nuts a day meets the tolerable upper limit for selenium consumption, so eating fewer is probably safer.
Hazelnuts for Health
A 1-ounce serving of hazelnuts, also known as filberts, contains 32 milligrams of calcium, meeting 3 percent of the daily value. While it's important to get enough calcium in your diet for bone health, that's not its only job. In addition to keeping your bones healthy and strong, calcium is also needed to help secrete hormones and enzymes, maintain proper communication of nerve signals and promote muscle function.
Up Your Intake With Pistachios
Pistachios are also a nutritious nut that can help you get more calcium in your diet. A 1-ounce serving of the green nut contains 29 milligrams of calcium, also meeting 3 percent of the daily value.
All nuts are a concentrated source of calories. To keep calories within balance to help you lose or maintain a healthy weight, keep your portion of nuts small and eat them in place of other foods such as meat or cheese.
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Calcium
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nuts Almonds, Nuts Brazilnuts Dried Unblanched, Nuts Hazelnuts or Filberts
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nuts Pistachio Nuts Raw
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin D
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Selenium
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.