8 Non-Dairy Calcium-Rich Foods
When people need more calcium in their diets, they usually turn to dairy products for help. But what most people don't know is that you can get calcium without turning to foods like cheese, yogurt, and milk.
Why Do You Need Calcium?You are probably aware that calcium is good for your teeth and bones, but calcium does so much more. Calcium helps your body maintain its blood vessels and regulate blood pressure1. It also prevents a resistance to insulin, which helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes. By consuming 1,000 milligrams each day, you can get enough calcium to keep your body healthy. Although that value is the equivalent of one thick slice of cheese or one cup of yogurt, most Americans don’t get enough calcium. In fact, only about 16% of females between the ages of 20 and 29 receive enough calcium. If you don’t get enough calcium, you might not be aware of it as there aren’t many early warning signs of calcium deficiency. However, a serious deficiency comes with a long list of side effects like dental problems, cataracts, changes in the brain, and osteoporosis2. To avoid suffering from the many effects of a calcium deficiency, you should try to get more non-dairy calcium-rich foods in your diet. With several foods rich in calcium, you have plenty of options.
Top 8 Non-Dairy Calcium-Rich FoodsYou might be surprised that some non-dairy foods have enough calcium to keep you healthy. Even without eating dairy products, you can get your 1000 milligrams of calcium naturally. 1. White Beans White beans contain 19% of your daily value of calcium in just one serving. They also contain a ton of iron, which can prevent anemia. Some simple ways of incorporating white beans into your diet include adding them to a pasta salad or making hummus with white beans instead of chickpeas. 2. Sardines In seven sardine fillets, you get 32% of your daily value of calcium. You also get a high dose of vitamin D and omega 3. The vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and other nutrients, so you get the added benefit. Some people enjoy eating sardines straight from the can. However, others prefer to mix them into dishes like a Greek salad. A dressing can help take away the strong taste of the sardines and bring out the best flavors in the fish. 3. Bok Choy One cup of bok choy contains 74 milligrams of calcium or 7% of your daily value. A type of Chinese Cabbage, bok choy is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Try sauteeing bok choy in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. 4. Dried Figs Eight dried figs contain a total of 10% of your daily value of calcium and many other essential components, like fiber and antioxidants. If you’re looking for a midday work snack, dried figs are an excellent option. Not only do they taste delicious on their own, but they are very easy to store. If you're feeling a little more creative, you can puree the figs to make a jam spread for crackers. 5. Kale Most people already know kale is a superfood, but did you know that kale contains 19% of your daily value of calcium in just two cups? You can serve it raw with other salad greens or add it to your morning smoothie! 6. Blackstrap Molasses Blackstrap molasses does more than satisfy your need for sweets, it also contains 17% of your daily value of calcium in one tablespoon. Most people like to pour it over their pancakes in place of syrup. 7. Black-Eyed Peas Half a cup of black-eyed peas contains 18% of your daily value of calcium, potassium, folate, and other essential nutrients. An easy way to incorporate black-eyed peas into your diet is by pureeing them to make a sandwich spread or serving some as a side dish. 8. Algae Calcium Algae calcium is plant-based, algae-derived calcium3. Unlike traditional rock calciums like calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, algae calcium is naturally full of dozens of trace minerals. What makes algae calcium unique is that it is very close to the mineral composition found in human bones as far as variety and quantity is concerned. The minerals and calcium are predigested so the body can break it down the rest of the way easily and absorb everything from it. Because algae calcium comes naturally partnered with magnesium and other trace minerals, it’s readily absorbed into the body. To make sure you are getting enough calcium each day, we recommend taking NATURELO’s Plant-Based Bone Strength supplement made from algae.
References: 1. Manipulating calcium accumulation in blood vessels may provide a new way to treat heart disease, April 9, 2013 2. What happens when calcium levels are low?, 21 May 2018 3. Safety and toxicological evaluation of AlgaeCal (AC), a novel plant-based calcium supplement, 2010 Jul;20(6):334-44. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2010.490966