Friday, May 22, 2015

21 Sources of Non-Dairy Calcium

Did you know milk isn’t the only source of calcium available?

Photo: Figs (Foodies Feed)

I’ve never liked milk and have never been a milk drinker; I’m sure this has put me at a deficit for calcium. But when I began meeting with my health coach in 2009, I discovered there are other ways to get calcium - much tastier ways. Rejoice!

Many in our society are lactose intolerant as well, or choose to be vegan and don’t eat animal products, so here are a few foods you can incorporate into your diet that will give your body the calcium it requires.

Keep in mind that while most of these foods have less calcium per serving than milk, the benefits are much greater because you are also getting other minerals, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients, which have a synergistic effect on the body. (You can also mix and match for some delicious snacks or meals!)

For comparison, an 8 ounce serving of whole milk has 27% of the RDA for calcium.

21 Sources of Non-Dairy Calcium:
Sardines: 3 oz, 35% 
Hemp Milk: 1 cup, 30% 
Spinach, cooked: 1 cup, 24%
Figs: 1 cup, 24%
Salmon with edible bones (canned): 3 oz, 21%
Black-eyed Peas: 1 cup, 18%
Chia Seeds: 1 oz, 17%
Almond Milk: 8 oz, 16%
Amaranth: 1/2 cup, 15%
Kale: 1 cup, 10%
Tempeh: 1/2 cup, 9%
Collard Greens: 1 cup, 8%
Sesame Seeds: 1T, 8%
Broccoli: 1 cup, 7%
Almonds: 1 oz, 7%
Tahini: 1T, 6%
Blackstrap Molasses: 1T, 4%
Prunes: 1 cup, 7%
Butternut Squash, cubed: 1 cup, 6%
Brussels Sprouts: 1 cup, 6%
Almond Butter: 1T, 4%

A few other minor sources of calcium include:
Blackberries, oranges, dates, legumes, black currants, dried apricots, sweet potato, seaweed, artichoke, celery, quinoa, raw spinach.

You should not focus on calcium content alone (or any other aspect) when choosing a food - think about the whole food. Also keep in mind that calcium is best absorbed by the body when consumed with vitamin D and magnesium.

Read my previous post: 9 Benefits of Seasonal Eating