The #1 best food to eat for calcium, says science

Eating sardines builds bone strength because you eat the whole fish, including the soft bones, the source of the all-important calcium. Photo: Pexels

(Jeff Ksatari/ Eat This, Not That) — What food comes immediately to mind when you think of building strong bones? Milk, of course. Mom probably poured you a glass at every meal when you were a kid to help you grow. But you may feel that milk isn’t doing your body as many favors in your older age if you’re one of the 36 percent of Americans who has lactose malabsorption and may experience diarrhea, gas, and bloating after sipping dairy. 

While there are obvious ways around these common side effects—like lactose-free dairy products—let’s spill the milk and look to a lesser-known source of calcium that’ll give you even more of this bone-building mineral than cow’s milk: Sardines.

A 3-ounce serving of sardines contains about 325 milligrams (mg) of calcium compared to about 276 mg and 299 mg for whole milk and non-fat milk, respectively, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. (…)