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How to Get Calcium When You Don’t Consume Dairy

Kale and Calcium

Kale is high in Calcium

As you may know, I’ve recently given up dairy. Dairy has been highly regarded for its calcium profile, and so, many people will often ask, “Where are you going to get your calcium?” Fair question. The FDA recommends that adults get 1000 mg of calcium per day, and one serving of skim milk delivers 30 percent of your daily calcium requirement. So, if you cut out the milk, where will you get your bone boosting nutrients?

What many people don’t realize is that calcium is a mineral that can be found in a whole host of foods. And if you are lactose-intolerant, or have decided to go on a dairy-free or whole-food plant based diet, you can get your calcium easily just by knowing what foods are the best sources.

According to the USDA, here is a list of popular non-dairy foods in order of levels of calcium (highest to lowest). If you avoid milk and dairy, you might want to seriously consider upping your servings of some of these.:

  • Collard Greens (1 cup boiled and drained): 357 mg
  • Sardines (3 ounces canned in oil with bone): 325 mg
  • Spinach (1 cup boiled and drained): 291 mg
  • Soybeans, Green (1 cup cooked and drained): 261 mg
  • Blackeye Peas (1 cup cooked): 211 mg
  • Beans (1 cup canned): 191 mg
  • Kale (1 cup boiled and drained): 179 mg

Remember, calcium is best consumed with foods that are also rich in Vitamin D. Fish, especially sardines, are high in Vitamin D. The good news is that fish and dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and collard greens, all pair well together.

Do you skip the milk in lieu of other sources of calcium? If so, what foods do you eat to get your 1000 mg a day?

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References: USDA – Top Calcium Foods

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , ,