Four {non-dairy} foods high in Calcium

Calcium is an important nutrient for the body. Not only does it help to form and maintain healthy bones and teeth, but calcium also ensures that nerves, muscles and cells are working as they should. Most importantly, adequate calcium consumption prevents osteoporosis. Adults aged 19-50 years and men aged 51-70 require about 1,000 mg calcium, but women aged 51-70 require 1,200 mg. All adults aged 71+ require 1,200 mg. To put it in perspective, one cup of milk has 300 mg calcium. Although dairy products are a quality source of calcium, it’s important to know other sources of calcium in the diet! For someone who is vegan, lactose intolerant, or just prefers not to have dairy, these items will aid in reaching calcium goals through diet alone. Remember to consume vitamin D with calcium to help absorb it. Here are four non dairy food items that are good sources of calcium:

Greens such as kale or collard greens

www.health.com

www.health.com

In addition to being a nutritional powerhouse, kale provides 101 mg calcium in 1 cup while collard greens provide 84 mg calcium in 1 cup. Check out our tropikale smoothie or superfoods bowl recipes that include fresh kale. We promise all types of eaters will love these two recipes {even if you are hesitant to eat kale}! Remember – it’s important to eat these items raw or lightly steamed for the calcium content to remain intact. Boiling tends to take out most of the mineral content.

Figs

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www.thecultureconcept.com

Much like dates, figs provide a sweetness that can almost be substituted for dessert! Not only do figs provide a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium, but 1/2 cup (dried) provides 121 mg calcium. Try making homemade preserves or wrapping figs in prosciutto for a savory appetizer recipe.

Chia seeds

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Chia seeds are an extremely versatile food that can be used in a variety of ways. The nutritional density of chia seeds is high and the nutrients that come from even a small serving should encourage you to eat more of them! They are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, antioxidants and are high in magnesium, mangese and phosphorus, among other minerals. You may be surprised to learn that chia seeds are a quality source of calcium! In fact, they provide 300 mg in each 1.5 ounce serving. Check out our strawberry cake batter overnight oats recipe for a tasty breakfast recipe using chia seeds.

Tofu

tofu-main

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For vegans who are looking for ways to incorporate protein in their diet, tofu tends to be a top choice. However, did you know that calcium set tofu is also a good source of calcium? For each 1/2 cup serving, about 350 mg calcium will be included, making it similar in calcium content to an 8oz glass of milk! Another added bonus is tofu will take up the flavor of whatever you are cooking it with, making it a versatile ingredient for a meatless dish.

There are other food items that may not naturally be a high source of calcium but are fortified (or a nutrient is added during processing) to provide additional amounts. One common example is calcium fortified orange juice. For instance, Simply Orange Juice brand fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D meets 35% of your daily need for calcium (or about 350mg in one 8oz serving).  A glass of this juice with a variety of other non dairy food items would help someone reach their calcium goal!

Talk to us: What sources of calcium do you get in your diet? Do you feel like you are meeting your daily calcium goal with diet alone?

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