African rich sources of Calcium!! Don't break the Bank on Supplements..

             Lactose intolerance is a common problem among Africans. A reason for this prevalence could be attributed to insufficient/ irregular consumption of milk at childhood due to cost of purchase. As we grow, nutrients from foods are better tolerated on the familiarity of our bodies with those foods especially from childhood. That is why we hear of intolerances in some situations.
Sesame seeds: Good Calcium source!!

Calcium is the most abundant major mineral in the body because of the its many roles. These roles include bone growth, cell signaling, muscle contraction and gene regulation. Therefore, improper intake of calcium from our diet puts us at risk for osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and weakness/tiredness/fragility. Research has shown its best to build one's bone between childhood to the age of 30yrs. It is vital to have good sources of calcium in their diet.

I previously had a post on calcium supplement (link here ). However, due to cost of supplements, I dug into our African diet to source for calcium sources without breaking the bank. Remember we need phosphorus and Vitamin D (from sunshine) to absorb calcium properly.

Certain food sources like Ugu leaves (fluted pumpkin), amaranth leaves, legumes, spinach high in Ca2+ cannot be not considered Ca2+ rich sources, WHY?? This is due to presence of OXALATES, PHYTATES, CYANIDE (anti-nutrients) that interfere with calcium absorption and reduce calcium bio-availability to the body.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium: 19 -50years: 1000mg/ day approx 1g
> 50years: 1200mg

African calcium rich food sources

Food source
Calcium content (mg/100g food)
Soybean, dried/ powder/ TOFU
African locust bean (dawadawa)
Sesame seeds (Tahini)
Drumstick leaves (Moringa Oleifera)
Parsley, fresh
Cassava flour (fermented and cyanide removed).
Kidney Beans (better than other legumes in calcium absorption)
Source: West African food composition table, 2012

Other rich sources are milk, cheese, sardine (Canned) and fresh sardine, beverage (like ovaltine), yogurt and calcium fortified cereals.
Reconstituting 3 tablespoon of powdered milk with water or glass (200mls) of fresh milk supplies 22% required calcium intake. The-same goes for soybean powder.

Share this with someone/ parents/ siblings that need to know. Remember Knowledge is wealth!!!!

- West African Food composition table (2012). Retrieved on October 22nd,


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