Top Foods High in Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that supports healthy brain and bones development. Although most animals can make their own, humans need certain foods to contribute the necessary Phosphorous for a healthy diet. This article will provide helpful information about what food sources are highest in this vital micronutrient., with recipes from around the web where you can incorporate them into your daily routine.


We get phosphorus primarily through phosphorus-rich meals and in tiny amounts from the water we drink since it is a naturally occurring mineral present in great quantities in the environment.

Phosphorus is kept in our bones for roughly 85 percent of the time, but it’s also found in minor amounts in muscle tissue and blood.

What foods are rich in phosphorus and can help us get more? This vital mineral may be found in various high-protein meals, including seeds, beans, meat, fish, milk, and eggs (although grains and some vegetables provide it too).

According to the National Kidney Foundation, animal diets are better at absorbing naturally occurring phosphorus than plant meals.

What Is Phosphorus and How Does It Work?

Phosphorus is a vital mineral that is engaged in hundreds of cellular functions daily. It is necessary for the body’s skeletal structure and critical organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver, to operate effectively.

The second most prevalent element in the human body is phosphorus (second to calcium). It accounts for roughly 0.5 percent of an infant’s body weight and about 1% of an adult’s body weight.

What is the most significant function of this mineral? Other important responsibilities include assisting in utilizing nutrients from the meals we consume and supporting detoxification.

This mineral is the body’s source of phosphate, a form of salt composed of phosphoric acid found in the body. It’s also necessary to synthesize the three primary macronutrients found in our food: proteins, lipids, and carbs.

Because it aids in creating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s principal source of “energy,” we need it to keep our metabolism functioning properly and assist in improving energy levels.

Phosphorus is also required for muscular contraction and movement. In addition, it functions as an electrolyte in the body, assisting in cellular activity, cardiac rhythms, and fluid balance.

Top 20 Phosphorus-Rich Foods

Is the phosphorus content of eggs high? Is it true that bananas are rich in phosphorus?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the following are the 20 foods with the most phosphorus:

  1. 14 cup sunflower seeds: 388 milligrams
  2. 387 milligrams per cup of sheep’s milk
  3. 322 milligrams in 3 ounces of canned salmon
  4. 1/4 cup cheese: 189 to 306 milligrams (depending on the kind)
  5. 302 milligrams per cup of teff grain
  6. 276 milligrams per cup of cottage cheese
  7. 1 cup of dark flesh chicken has 262 milligrams
  8. 245 milligrams per cup of yogurt
  9. 1 big potato, skinned: 220 milligrams
  10. 1/4 cup pink/white beans: 202 to 216 milligrams
  11. 200 milligrams per cup of cooked mung beans
  12. 187 milligrams azuki beans, 1/4 cup
  13. 184 to 242 milligrams per 3-ounce cans of tuna
  14. 239 milligrams tofu, 1/2 cup
  15. 3 ounces turkey: 182 to 227 milligrams
  16. 170 milligrams per 1/4 cup of black beans
  17. 3 ounces grass-fed beef: 173 milligrams
  18. 163 milligrams per cup of portobello mushrooms
  19. 14 cup almonds: 162 milligrams
  20. 150 milligrams per cup of cooked brown rice

Aside from being found naturally in high-phosphorus meals, it’s also added to food items to enhance the look, shelf life, and taste of foods. Phosphates, for example, are found in baking powders, cocoa goods, and processed foods such as meat-marinating components, ice cream, bread and rolls, processed cheeses, carbonated drinks, and a variety of other foods.

As a food and beverage ingredient, it’s known by many names, including:

  • Phosphate of dicalcium
  • Phosphate of disodium
  • Phosphate of monosodium
  • Phosphoric acid is a kind of phosphoric acid.
  • Hexametaphosphate sodium
  • Phosphate of trisodium
  • Tripolyphosphate of sodium
  • Pyrophosphate of tetrasodium

The Food and Drug Administration considers this kind of phosphorus to be acceptable as a food additive, but it isn’t the best way to get the phosphorus your body requires. So instead, seek meals rich in phosphorus, such as whole foods that come as a “whole package,” naturally including other minerals needed for phosphorus balance.

Health Advantages

More phosphorus consumption in your diet may benefit your bones, detoxification, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Here are some of the most important health advantages of consuming this crucial mineral:

1. Assists in the maintenance of strong bones

Phosphorus is one of the most critical elements to maintain bone form, strength, and calcium. Phosphate is used to make more than half of all bone.

Phosphors aid in the formation of bone mineral density, which helps to avoid bone fractures, breaks, and osteoporosis, all of which become more common as people age.

Calcium cannot efficiently create and maintain bone structure without adequate phosphorus. Therefore, supplements with high calcium levels, for example, may prevent phosphorus absorption.

Because both minerals are required to produce bone mass, just increasing calcium will not enhance bone density.

While adequate phosphorus is critical for bone health, new research shows that adding phosphorus to the diet via inorganic phosphate additions might harm bone and mineral metabolism. To maintain optimal bone health, phosphorus and calcium levels must be harmonized.

2. Through urination and excretion, the body is detoxed

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that play many important regulatory activities. They eliminate superfluous organic molecules from the blood and minerals that the body does not need.

Phosphorus is necessary for kidney function and aids in the body’s detoxification by allowing toxins and waste to be eliminated via the urine. On the other side, it’s more challenging to maintain adequate mineral levels in persons with renal illness since excess quantities aren’t expelled as quickly (more on this below).

The kidneys and other digestive organs depend on electrolytes like phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium to check uric acid, salt, water, and fat. Phosphates are closely related to these other minerals, and they are generally found in the body as phosphate ion complexes with other electrolytes.

3. Vital for Nutrient Utilization and Metabolism

Phosphorus is required to synthesize, absorb, and use vitamins and minerals obtained from the diet, particularly B vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin. It also helps with cellular function, energy generation, reproduction, and development by creating amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

It also aids in the regulation of other nutrients such as vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, calcium, and zinc levels in the body. All of these functions assist in the maintenance of a healthy metabolism.

This mineral is also required for the effective digestion of carbs and lipids since it aids in the production of digestive enzymes that convert nutrients into usable energy.

Overall, it stimulates your glands to generate hormones that are essential for attention and energy expenditure, which may help keep your mind awake and your muscles active.

4. Improves digestion by balancing the pH level of the body

Phosphorus is found in the body in the form of phospholipids, which are a key component of most cellular membranes, including nucleotides and nucleic acids. Phospholipids have several functions, including maintaining the body’s pH by buffering excess acid or alkali chemicals.

This aids digestion by enabling beneficial bacteria to proliferate in the gut flora. It’s also necessary for the phosphorylation process, which involves the activation of digestive catalyst enzymes.

Phosphorus, as an electrolyte, is thought to aid digestion by decreasing bloating/water retention and diarrhea and providing natural constipation treatment, and contributing to acid reflux alleviation.

5. Needed to Keep Energy Levels Up

Phosphorus aids in the absorption and control of B vitamins, which are essential for creating energy in the form of ATP inside cells. In addition, because they influence neurotransmitter release in the brain, B vitamins are also required to maintain a pleasant mood.

It also helps govern muscular action by assisting in the passage of nerve signals. General weakness, muscular aches and discomfort, numbness, and general or chronic tiredness syndrome may all result from a phosphorus deficit and a lack of phosphorus-rich meals.

6. Assists in the maintenance of dental health

Phosphorus is required for the health of teeth and gums in the same way as it is for bone health. Calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus all aid in the construction and maintenance of dental health by maintaining tooth enamel jaw-bone mineral density, and keeping teeth in place, therefore these minerals and vitamins may also aid in the healing of tooth decay.

Children, in particular, need phosphorus- and calcium-rich diets during growing adult teeth to establish the hard structure of the teeth.

Vitamin D and phosphorus are required to maintain the body’s calcium balance and promote calcium absorption during tooth production. Vitamin D may also assist in reducing gum inflammation, which is linked to periodontal gum disease.

7. It is necessary for cognitive function

Elements like phosphorus are required for proper neurotransmission and brain functioning to carry out daily cellular operations. In addition, phosphorus has a vital role in maintaining normal neurological, emotional, and hormonal responses.

A lack of phosphorus has been associated with cognitive decline and the onset of age-related neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

8. Vital to Development and Growth

A phosphorus deficit between toddler and teenage years may restrict growth and lead to other developmental disorders since phosphorus is necessary for nutrient absorption and bone formation. In addition, it aids in creating the genetic building components DNA and RNA during pregnancy.

Phosphorus-rich foods are essential in a pregnancy diet since the mineral is required to develop, maintain, and repair all tissues and cells beginning at birth. Phosphorus is also necessary for optimal brain function, which includes focusing, learning, solving problems, and recalling knowledge.

Symptoms of Deficiency

A normal phosphorus level is between 2.5 and 4.5 mg/dL, which your doctor may verify via a test.

Because phosphorus is available in many widely consumed whole foods and is also synthetically added to many packaged meals, phosphorus shortage is uncommon in most individuals.

It’s one of many food additives included in many processed goods, such as bread, cheese, and salad dressings, and it’s estimated that added phosphorus accounts for up to 30% of the typical adult’s daily consumption.

In comparison to many other minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, phosphorus in the form of phosphate is particularly effectively absorbed in the small intestine. As a result, between 50 and 90 percent of the phosphorus we consume is thought to be absorbed appropriately, preventing malnutrition.

A variety of factors causes phosphorus insufficiency.

The more high-protein meals a person consumes, the more likely they will maintain appropriate phosphorus levels. As a result, those who eat a low-protein diet are more likely to become deficient than those who follow a higher-protein diet, particularly one that contains a lot of animal protein.

Older women are the group most prone to suffer from phosphorus shortage. It’s estimated that 10% to 15% of older women have phosphorus intakes that are less than 70% of the daily recommended limit.

One explanation for this might be because older women are more likely to take high-dose calcium supplements (to treat calcium deficiencies) that include carbonate or citrate salts, which bind to phosphorus and prevent it from being absorbed.

Phosphorus levels may also be reduced by taking certain drugs, such as:

  • Insulin
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antacids
  • Anticonvulsants

What symptoms do you get if you’re deficient in phosphorus? The following are the most common symptoms of phosphorus deficiency:

  • Bones that are weak, broken, or fractured
  • Osteoporosis
  • Appetite fluctuations
  • Aches in the joints and muscles
  • Exercise is strenuous for you.
  • Tooth rotting is a common problem.
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain or decrease
  • Growth difficulties and other developmental issues
  • Concentration issues

Dosage and Supplements

Most individuals don’t require phosphorus supplements, according to experts, since the ordinary person receives enough through their food.

The recommended daily phosphorus consumption varies by age and gender, according to the USDA:

  • 100 milligrams per day for infants aged 0–6 months
  • 275 milligrams for infants aged 7–12 months
  • 420 milligrams for children aged 1–3
  • 500 milligrams for children aged 4 to 8
  • 1,250 milligrams for 9-18 years old
  • 700 milligrams for those aged 19–50
  • 700 milligrams for pregnant or nursing women

As you can see, teens need the most phosphorus of any age group due to their fast growth and development of bone mass. This is also why adolescents need more calcium and, in many circumstances, greater calories.

Unless you have a renal illness, there isn’t much danger of overdosing by consuming phosphorus meals since the kidneys generally keep track of how much of this mineral is in your blood. Any excess is generally eliminated effectively via urine.

Taking or swallowing very high quantities of phosphorus in supplement form or from foods containing additives, on the other hand, can affect typical phosphorus levels. This might be hazardous since it interferes with the production of vitamin D’s active metabolite and calcium absorption.

According to research, excess dietary phosphorus has been linked to problems with bone and mineral metabolism.

Due to an imbalance in crucial minerals that govern blood pressure, circulation, and renal function, excessive phosphorus levels may potentially induce heart and artery issues.

It’s unlikely that you’ll get too much phosphorus from phosphorus-rich meals alone. Still, if you take phosphorus supplements and consume many packaged foods with added nutrients, you’ll want to make some modifications to keep track of your consumption.

Try to absorb as much phosphorus from meals as possible, particularly high-quality proteins, which aid in absorption and mineral/electrolyte balance.

Interactions, Side Effects, and Risks

When phosphorus levels are too high, what happens? Although it is uncommon, too much phosphate may be hazardous, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Organ and soft tissue hardening
  • Interfering with the iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc balance may have various harmful consequences.
  • Athletes and others who take phosphate supplements should do so only on occasion and under the supervision of a health care physician.

Because phosphorus interacts with other minerals and drugs, you should avoid using excessive amounts of phosphorus supplements without first seeing your doctor. This is particularly true for those who have chronic renal disease.

When a person has chronic kidney disease (CKD), the kidneys cannot properly eliminate phosphorus, which causes it to build up and draw calcium from the bones. For this reason, CKD patients are frequently recommended to eat a low-phosphate diet.

Depending on the patient and scenario, this might mean cutting down on protein and dairy or switching to a more plant-based diet.

Aim for a healthy mix of calcium-rich meals and phosphorus-rich foods. An imbalance may lead to bone-related issues, including osteoporosis and gum and tooth disorders.

Unfortunately, the average American diet includes two to four times more phosphorus than calcium. This is caused by consuming too many phosphorus-rich meals like meat and poultry and drinking carbonated drinks, which contain much more phosphorus than calcium.

According to research, some further interactions of high phosphorus levels, particularly in connection to calcium, may include:

  • Vitamin D absorption is being restricted.
  • Kidneys under duress
  • Contributing to the development of arteriosclerosis and kidney disease
  • Interacting with alcohol may deplete phosphorus levels in the body by leaching it from the bones.
  • Interactions with antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium may cause the intestines to absorb minerals improperly.
  • Interactions with Anti-Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) (blood pressure medications)
  • Some corticosteroids and high doses of insulin and bile acid sequestrates may reduce the oral absorption of phosphates from the food.

What foods should you avoid if you have a high phosphorus level? Keeping the top sources to a minimum, such as milk, tuna, turkey, and beef, is recommended.

If you have chronic renal disease, speak to your doctor about whether you need to restrict your food intake further and what other dietary changes you may make to keep your mineral and nutrient levels in check.


  • Phosphorus is a vital mineral engaged in hundreds of cellular functions daily.
  • What foods have phosphorous in them? Protein foods, such as beans, seeds, nuts, meat, fish, and dairy products, are high in them.
  • People who eat a low-protein diet are more likely to develop deficiency than those who eat a high-protein diet, particularly one that contains a lot of animal protein.
  • Many individuals get enough of this mineral only via their meals. As a result, people with renal illness and those who don’t consume enough calcium-rich foods may end up with an overabundance of calcium in their systems.
  • Support for bone health, greater energy levels, neuron and muscle function, hormone synthesis, fertility, and detoxification are all advantages of getting enough of this mineral in your diet.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I eat to increase my phosphorus?

A: Potassium is your best bet for increasing phosphorus in the body, as long as it doesn’t come from a diet high in processed foods.

What is the best source of phosphorus?

A: Ideally, you should use bone meal or manure as the best source of phosphorus.

What are the benefits of phosphorus supplements?

A: Phosphorus is a mineral found in the body. It helps with normal metabolism, and it also regulates cellular function.

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