The World's Healthiest Foods website at WHFoods.com provides a list of foods with the highest levels of phosphorus. Most foods contain some phosphorus, but scallops, sardines, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and cod have the highest levels.
Tuna, salmon, lentils, shrimp and tempeh are other foods that are high in phosphorus. Foods that contain high levels of protein typically contain high phosphorus levels as well. Dairy products, whole grains, nuts and seeds, chocolate, and colas are high in phosphorus.
Phosphorus is present in every bodily cell and enables the cell to function properly, but the bones contain the highest levels of phosphorus in the body. Phosphorus strengthens bones and influences the growth and metabolism of bones. Phosphorus is also a component of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is important in maintaining energy in the body. Phosphorus works to maintain an appropriate pH level in the body as well.
The kidneys regulate the amount of phosphorus in the body by removing any excess, so if the kidneys are not working optimally, phosphorus levels in the body rise. If too much phosphorus remains in the body, calcium levels decline, potentially leading to bone disease. For this reason, people with kidney disease need to limit phosphorus intake to less than 1,000 milligrams per day. Healthy adults can consume twice that amount.