Still think you need that milk, cheese, and yogurt to get your daily dose of calcium? Think again! There are many completely dairy-free, and many completely vegan, sources of calcium to choose from.
Calcium is most well-known for its important role in keeping teeth and bones strong. However, this mineral does so much more. Calcium is also integral in circulatory health, maintaining stable blood pressure, balancing the body’s pH, and may even play a role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is approximately 1,000 milligrams. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, switching to a plant-based diet which does not include dairy, or simply don’t like the taste, here are 15 non-dairy foods which are loaded with calcium:
Salads, green smoothies, chips and more… there’s not a lot you can’t do with kale.
2. Collard greens
Leafy and green like kale, but with a stronger flavor and a Southern flair.
3. Beet greens
More green goodness to make your salad supremely satisfying.
Slice it raw and dip in hummus, or make a delicious soup – you’ll get the calcium either way.
A handful of raw almonds is the perfect snack – portable, filling and nutritious.
6. Sesame seeds
These can be used to top just about anything, and they bring calcium along wherever they go.
It’s true – this ancient, sweet spice has calcium among its rich nutritional profile.
Not just a garnish anymore – chomp those green leaves for their calcium content. Oh, and they help freshen your breath!
Another ancient calcium-containing food. Great for healthy desserts, or a delectable fruit platter.
10. Wild-caught sardines
Cook and eat ’em whole, the calcium is in the bones! Plus omega-3s to boot.
11. Wild-caught salmon stock
Again, it’s in the bones… so getting all that goodness out in the form of a fish stock is a great soup or sauce base idea.
So gourmet… so nutritious. Can’t go wrong.
When you’re looking for an onion taste, but with more earthy warmth. Try making leeks into delicious winter soups.
Not only will you get calcium, you’ll get iodine – which is key to the health of your thyroid.
Calcium from a common citrus fruit? You bet! Use the juice, flesh and zest – they’re all amazing!
Note: When choosing non-dairy sources of calcium, don’t forget about vitamin D. Your body needs ample amounts of this vitamin in order to properly absorb calcium. While during the warmer season, you can get ample vitamin D from the sun if you’re smart about your exposure, in colder months, you may wish to get some extra from food and consider the use of a high quality supplement.
One more thing, while you may be raring to go on your new, dairy-free menu, remember that when making any major lifestyle change, it can do a world of good to talk to a health professional, or in this case perhaps nutritionist, that you trust.
With the guidance of a professional, you can know that you are making the healthiest choices out there, and covering all your nutritional bases so nothing gets overlooked!
-The Alternative Daily