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Top 5 Food for Calcium and Vitamin D


Calcium and vitamin D are essential for our bone health. A deficiency of these bone forming vitamins may slow down growth of growing children, whereas adults who lack these important nutrients may be prone to osteoporosis and are more likely to get bone fractures.

The Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Malaysia 2017 recommends a daily intake of Calcium and Vitamin D as per the following table.

 Age   Vitamin D (IU/day)   Calcium (mg/day) 
 0 - 12 months   400   250 
 1 - 12 years   600   700 
 13 - 18 years   600   1300 
 19 - 55 years   600   1000 
 > 56 years old   800  1200

Here are the top 5 food source of Calcium & Vitamin D.

1.  High calcium milk powder

High calcium milk powder is currently one of the best source of calcium in the market, providing a whooping 2000mg of calcium for every 100g. A standard serving gives about 300mg of calcium. Besides calcium, high calcium milk powder is also rich in vitamin D and vitamin B groups.

2.  Dried anchovies (Ikan bilis)

Dried anchovies or ikan bilis are a common side to our national dish, Nasi lemak. For every 100g of ikan bilis, it packs 500mg of calcium. Besides calcium, it is also a good source of vitamin D, amino acids and other bone forming minerals.

3.  Canned sardine

Tasty, sweet and sour, canned sardine is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. The bones of the sardines are soft and can be swallowed easily. Half a palm size length of sardine can easily provide us with 400mg of calcium.

4.  Soy bean curd (Tofu)

This coagulated form of soy bean milk is a very good source of calcium and a very versatile piece of food. It can be steamed, added to soup or even fried. Aside from providing calcium, tofu also provides a complete profile of amino acid to support muscle health and prevent muscle sarcopenia. Tofu is especially important for vegetarians as a rich source of calcium.

5.  Watercress (Sai Yong Choi)

This crunchy vegetable grows in water with a high concentration of minerals. Hence it comes with no surprise that it packs a huge punch of calcium when eaten. This miraculous vegetable can be sauteed, made into soup or even braised. It is also rich in magnesium and manganese, minerals needed for the formation of strong bones.


1. Ministry of Health. Malaysia RNI 2017

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1. Created by Kjpargeter -

calcium, vitamin d, bone health, osteoporosis, bone fractures, milk powder, high calcium milk powder, vitamin b groups, dried anchovies, ikan bilis, canned sardine, soy bean curd, tofu, muscle health, muscle sarcopenia, watercress, magnesium, manganese, strong bones

About The Author
Chang Wai Ken
Ken Chang graduated with a first class honour degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from International Medical University. He is currently a practicing dietitian in the community. His areas of expertise include weight management, pre and post gastrectomy diet management, diabetic meal management, hypertensive/ dyslipidemia meal management, cancer support nutrition recommendations, functional food and supplementation recommendations.

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