Calcium performs numerous functions in our bodies. We use more than 90 percent of calcium to keep our bones and teeth strong, supporting skeletal function and structure. The rest of the calcium is utilized in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve function and cell signaling. Calcium also plays a key role in maintaining a regular heartbeat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the minimum daily calcium requirement is 1,000 milligrams a day for Americans under 50 years old and 1,200 milligrams for Americans over 50 years old. Your dietary choices help you load up on an optimal amount of calcium, which you need for basic functions. While you may know the usual calcium-rich diet, including dairy products, there are also fruits that come packed with calcium.
- Apricots – Dried apricots pack a significant amount of calcium, with one cup of halved, dried apricots providing 72 milligrams of calcium, or nearly 14 percent of the daily recommended value. When it comes to calcium-rich fruits, dried apricots are one of the leaders, helping to strengthen teeth and provide a little snack along the way.
- Kiwi – Next up is kiwi, also known as the kiwi fruit. These fuzzy little green fruits have a surprisingly high calcium content, with 61 milligrams of calcium per cup. One fruit that is two inches in diameter has about 23 milligrams of calcium in it alone, so increasing your kiwi intake is definitely a good idea.
- Citrus Fruits – The citrus family has a few big contenders in the calcium department, with oranges providing 72 milligrams of calcium per cup, the same as dried apricots. A large orange that’s over 3 inches in diameter has about 74 milligrams of calcium, while the average small orange over two inches in diameter has about 38 milligrams of calcium. Tangerines also have a similar calcium level, with one cup of tangerine sections equaling 72 milligrams of calcium.
- Blackberries – Blackberries aren’t as rich in calcium as mulberries, which pack about 55 grams of calcium per cup, but they are much more accessible and popular, with their own calcium content of about 42 milligrams per cup. 42 milligrams of calcium makes up approximately 4 percent of the daily recommended value, making blackberries an easy and delicious source of calcium to toss on your morning breakfast cereal or oatmeal.
- Papaya – If you’re longing for that tropical island flavor, papaya is also a great source of fruit-based calcium. One cup of mashed papaya has approximately 46 milligrams of calcium, while a cup of papaya pieces has 29 milligrams. Dried papaya also has a significant amount of calcium, with about 83 milligrams of calcium per every 100 grams eaten.