There are plenty of non-dairy foods packed with calcium. What are they?
Calcium plays an important role in our overall health and well-being. Some of the areas where it’s used in our body include the nervous system, muscles, heart and bones. If we don’t consume enough calcium, our body takes it from our bones, which can lead to weakened bones. Bone resorption is the process by which osteoclasts break down bone and release the minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone fluid to the blood. It is the reason why our face looks sunken and old, with skin that sags as we grow old.
The recommended dietary allowance for calcium is 1,000mg for adults, both male and female, but women above age 51 need 1,200mg.
But did you know that sources of calcium are not limited to just milk or dairy products?
If you’re lactose intolerant or just hate the taste of milk and dairy products, you’d be relieved to know that there are other ways of adding calcium to your diet.
Sardines, canned with bones (3oz) | Salmon, canned, solids with bone (3oz)
325mg per serving, 33% per daily value | 181mg per serving, 18% per daily value
Here’s the important thing to note: The bones in canned salmon and sardines hold all the calcium, so ensure that they’re mashed up right along with the salmon or sardine meat to reap all the benefits!
Orange, fruit | Orange juice, calcium-fortified (6oz)
74mg per large orange | 261mg per serving, 26% per daily value
Not only do oranges contain calcium, they’re stock full of vitamin C as well. The fruit is also low in calories and is filled with antioxidants. Eating the fruit as a natural source of calcium is preferred but if you want to supplement your diet with orange juice, get the calcium-fortified option. But do drink judiciously as orange juice may be fairly high in calories as it is packed with sugars too.
Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulfate ½ cup | Tofu, soft, made with calcium sulfate, ½ cup
253mg per serving, 25% per daily value | 138 mg per serving,14% per daily value
Tofu is made of grounded and boiled soybeans. It contains a lot of protein, little fat, and most importantly calcium. There are plenty of recipes that you can concoct with them so give it a go.
Bread, white, 1 slice | Bread, wholewheat, 1 slice
73mg per serving, 7% per daily value | 30 mg per serving, 3% per daily value
Bread is arguably a common food for all of us. Although they’re not high on calcium, white or wholemeal bread is still a good source.
Broccoli, raw, ½ cup | Chinese cabbage (bok choi) raw, shredded, 1 cup
21mg per serving, 2% per daily value | 74mg per serving, 7% per daily value
Bet you didn’t expect to see any greens make the list. These common vegetables, however, are packed with a high concentration of important nutrient, calcium included! So the next time you’re grocery shopping, get some greens into that shopping basket.
Calcium is reported to be the most plentiful of mineral found in our body and it is also one of the most important. Yet at times, we take it for granted only to realise its necessity when we need it most. Our list of calcium sources is just some of the many out there, which spells good news for those who are lactose intolerant and who want to work some calcium alternatives in their diet. Start living healthy today!