Where can you find phosphorus in food?


Phosphorus, an essential mineral for our body, is one of the most represented and most important for the good functioning of our body.


Photo by David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

Responsible in particular for the solidity of teeth and bones, phosphorus is essential for the life of humans but also of plants.

It is often used as a base for fertilizers. Most foods contain phosphorus, but some are richer in it, such as seeds, dairy products or meat, for example. Find out which foods contain more phosphorus.


Phosphorus is a mineral salt very present in our bodies, since it is involved in many chemical reactions. It is estimated that our body contains about 700 g, distributed in particular in bones and teeth (85%), of which it is the main constituent.

In fact, it is the second most important mineral in our body, after calcium (about 1kg). These two minerals are associated in the body and are therefore examined together in case of deficiencies or excesses.

What are its functions?

It participates in the proper functioning of the organization:

  • Strength of teeth and bones: Phosphorus is the mineral necessary for the mineralization of bones and teeth. Without the presence of this mineral in sufficiently high quantities, new bone generation is blocked.
  • Role in the formation of cells: Phosphorus is used in the body in its phosphate form. This form of phosphate is the basic building block of cell membranes, DNA and proteins2.

Therefore, it is important to have a diet rich in phosphorus.

Nutrition Recommendations

According to the ANSES3 report, the recommended nutritional intake is 700 mg/day for adults.

In the diet, the main contributors to the phosphorus intake of the French adult population are cheese (10.6%), meat (9.3%), bread and bakery products (9.2%), milk and deep-frozen dairy products (6 and 6.2% respectively), poultry and game (6.1%)4 .

The needs may increase for pregnant women and athletes.

Phosphorus deficiencies are very rare in Western countries, but are more common in countries where poor nutrition and malnutrition are prevalent.

However, impairments can occur in cases of long-term aggravated alcoholism, resulting in severe fatigue, bone disorders and/or loss of appetite.

On the other hand, a high intake of phosphorus is harmful to the kidneys, bones and blood vessels (Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, 2012).

What foods are the richest in phosphorus?

Meat: offal, ham, pork chop

Fish and seaweed: cod, sardine, Nori seaweed, anchovies, salmon

Seeds and oilseeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia, poppy, sesame, Brazil nuts

Pulses and cereals: lentils, quinoa, flageolets

Dairy products: powdered milk, fourme d’Ambert, processed cheese, Beaufort, comté, mimolette, Emmental cheese


  • Slices of cereal bread and red fruit jelly
  • 5 grain cakes and slices of Emmental cheese + fruit
  • Croque-monsieur ham/cheese + fruit


  • Lentils and cooked ham
  • Brandade of cod and green salad
  • Salmon steak with mashed potatoes and carrots


  • Vegetable soup and cheese board
  • Slices of cereal bread, sardine rillettes, various seeds and green salad.
  • Quinoa with small vegetables and a slice of white ham

You may be interested:

Facebook Comments