19 Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

19 Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium


You know that you need calcium for strong, healthy bones. Usually, getting enough calcium means drinking milk and eating yogurt and cheese. Is drinking milk and eating dairy products the best way to get the calcium you need? The answer might surprise you. 
Various research studies show that milk and dairy products are not necessary for strong bones. In fact, the opposite could be true, as a recent study in the British Medical Journal found that women who drank multiple glasses of milk daily had a higher fracture risk than women who drank less than a glass a day.  American magazine Mother Jones summarized the research and the marketing by the dairy industry in the US that impacts what you think about milk in a great article here
Milk and dairy products are also high on the list of food allergies and intolerances and can be common triggers for inflammation in the body, resulting in eczema, acne, bloating, gas and joint pains. 
Calcium is still an important mineral proper muscle tone and nerve function, and not just for women and kids. So how do you get calcium without drinking milk? 

1.  Tofu

4 oz of tofu has a whopping 774 mg of calcium in it! You can easily add diced tofu to stir fry or you can enjoy it scrambled as a substitute for eggs. Buying organic, non-GMO tofu is highly recommended

2.  Collard greens 

1 cup of steamed collard greens has almost the same amount of calcium as 1 cup of cow’s milk (266 mg vs 276 mg) and can be enjoyed as a side dish with some drizzled olive oil and your favourite spices.

3.  Spinach 

1 cup of spinach has a bit less calcium than 1 cup of milk and can be enjoyed in salad or even added to your morning smoothie.

4.  Mustard Greens

5.  Beet Greens 

6.  Turnip Greens 

7.  Bok choy

8.  Swiss chard

9.  Kale

All of these greens can be enjoyed steamed or stir fried to add an extra punch of calcium to your meal. 

10.  Cinnamon

Did you know that 2 tsp has over 50 mg of calcium? Add a big dash to your oatmeal or tea to get a touch more sweetness and calcium in your life. 

11.  Sesame seeds

You can add ¼ cup for over 350 mg of extra calcium in your cereal, salads or snacks.

12.  Sardines

Sardine fans rejoice! 3 oz gives you almost 300 mg – more than a cup of milk!

13.  Cabbage

Using cabbage in soup or enjoying it fermented as sauerkraut? One cup gives you 60 mg of extra calcium.

14.  Broccoli

15.  Brussels sprouts

16.  Green beans

You can easily enjoy the above greens roasted or steamed and they give over 50 mg of calcium per cup.

17.  Oranges

Did you know that a medium sized orange provides over 50 mg of calcium?

18.  Summer squash

When summer comes around again, you can get 50 mg of calcium in 1 cup. 

19.  Fennel

You can add fennel to stir fry or salad for an extra 40 mg of calcium per cup.
Whether you’re looking to get enough calcium for yourself or your kids, it doesn’t have to mean reaching for milk, yogurt or cheese. A combination of the above foods can make it easy to get enough calcium. If you have any questions about how much calcium you need, don’t hesitate to ask your naturopathic doctor!



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