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How do the Japanese get their calcium?


Japanese people have a reputation for being some of the healthiest in the world. One of the factors that contribute to their good health is their diet, which is rich in calcium. But how do the Japanese get their calcium? In this article, we will explore the various sources of calcium in the Japanese diet and how they consume it.

Calcium-rich Foods in Japan

The Japanese diet consists of a variety of calcium-rich foods, including seafood, tofu, sesame seeds, leafy greens, and dairy products. Seafood such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel are especially high in calcium. Tofu, made from soybeans, is also a great source of calcium and is a staple in many Japanese dishes. Sesame seeds are used in many Japanese recipes and are rich in calcium. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are also commonly consumed for their high calcium content.

Japanese Snack Box

Japanese Milk Consumption

Despite being known for their low consumption of dairy products, milk is still a popular beverage in Japan. However, most Japanese milk is ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) treated, which can decrease the amount of nutrients such as calcium. Nevertheless, there are still many dairy products available in Japan that are high in calcium, such as yogurt and cheese.

Calcium Supplements in Japan

While the Japanese diet is naturally rich in calcium, some people may still need to supplement their intake. Calcium supplements are readily available in Japan and can be purchased at drugstores or online. Some popular forms include chewable tablets, powder supplements, and liquid supplements.

Traditional Japanese Medicine

In traditional Japanese medicine, certain herbs and remedies are believed to be beneficial for bone health and increasing calcium absorption. For example, horsetail herb tea is thought to improve bone density and strengthen bones. Other traditional remedies include umeboshi plum, which is said to help prevent osteoporosis.

Calcium-Fortified Foods

Calcium-fortified foods are becoming increasingly popular in Japan. Products such as calcium-fortified soy milk, bread, and juice are now widely available in supermarkets. These products provide an easy way for people to increase their calcium intake without having to drastically alter their diet.

Japanese School Lunches

In Japan, school lunches are taken very seriously and are designed to provide children with a balanced and nutritious meal. The Japanese government has set strict guidelines for school lunch nutrition, which includes ensuring that children receive adequate amounts of calcium. School lunches often include dairy products such as milk and cheese, as well as calcium-rich vegetables and seafood.

Japanese Tea

Green tea is a staple beverage in Japan and is known for its numerous health benefits. While it is not a significant source of calcium, studies have suggested that green tea may help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium Absorption in the Body

Calcium is absorbed in the body through a complex process that involves various factors such as vitamin D and magnesium. In Japan, people typically consume foods that are high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish and eggs. Additionally, many Japanese dishes contain seaweed, which is high in magnesium and can aid in calcium absorption.

Osteoporosis in Japan

Despite the Japanese diet being rich in calcium, osteoporosis is still a significant health concern in Japan. This may be due to factors such as an aging population and changing dietary habits. As a result, there is a growing interest in promoting bone health in Japan through initiatives such as increased exercise and calcium supplementation.


The Japanese diet is a great example of how to consume calcium-rich foods in a balanced and healthy way. From seafood to tofu, dairy products to traditional remedies, there are many ways that the Japanese get their calcium. By incorporating some of these practices into our own diets, we can improve our bone health and overall wellbeing.

Where do Japanese get their calcium?

The diet plan consists of carbohydrates like white rice, buckwheat noodles, and rice cakes, as well as fish that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and can lower the risk of heart disease. The diet also includes sea vegetables, especially seaweed, which contains fiber, calcium, and iron.

How do Asians get their calcium?

Asian countries obtain their calcium mainly from plant-based foods, fish and shellfish that have edible bones, fins and shells, and other similar sources.

What do Chinese eat for calcium?

Calcium intake in an Asian diet is primarily derived from non-dairy sources such as tofu, grains, and vegetables like broccoli, kale, and bok choy. (Note: This sentence is already fairly close to the original text, so the paraphrase is minimal.)

How do Okinawans get calcium?

The sales of coral calcium increased as people became aware of the impressive health and long life of those living on the Okinawa Islands in Japan, where the drinking water contains high levels of calcium obtained from the coral reefs in the surrounding areas.

How do people get calcium without dairy?

Calcium is an important nutrient that can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, other foods also contain calcium such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage. Canned sardines and salmon also contain calcium in their soft bones. Additionally, calcium is often added to plant-based products like tofu, soy and rice drinks, fruit juice, and cereal.

Where do Americans get most of their calcium?

Calcium is primarily obtained from milk, yogurt, and cheese in the United States. Canned sardines and salmon with bones are also good sources of calcium, as well as certain vegetables like kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage (bok choi).

Physical Activity

In addition to a calcium-rich diet, physical activity is also important for maintaining bone health. Japan has a strong culture of physical fitness, with activities such as martial arts, yoga, and walking being popular. The Japanese government also promotes physical activity through initiatives such as the annual Sports Day holiday in schools and encouraging companies to offer exercise programs for their employees.

Calcium and Longevity

Studies have shown that higher calcium intake may be associated with increased longevity. In Japan, where people have a high calcium intake, the average life expectancy is one of the highest in the world. While other factors such as genetics and lifestyle also play a role in longevity, consuming adequate calcium is an important part of overall health.

Calcium and Pregnancy

Pregnant women require increased amounts of calcium to support fetal development and maintain their own bone health. In Japan, it is common for pregnant women to consume foods such as dried fish and seaweed, which are rich in calcium. Additionally, prenatal vitamins containing calcium are widely available in Japan.

Calcium and Aging

As people age, their bodies may become less efficient at absorbing and utilizing calcium. This can lead to weakened bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis. In Japan, where aging is a significant demographic issue, there is a growing focus on promoting bone health among the elderly through initiatives such as exercise programs and calcium supplementation.


Overall, the Japanese diet provides a great example of how to consume calcium-rich foods in a balanced way. Whether through seafood, tofu, dairy products, or traditional remedies, there are many ways to incorporate calcium into your diet. Additionally, physical activity and other lifestyle factors play an important role in maintaining bone health. By adopting some of these practices into our own lives, we can improve our overall health and wellbeing.

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