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How Can You Consume Enough Calcium Without Dairy?

In modern-day, there are many people who either are allergic to dairy products or avoid eating them for a variety of reasons. These reasons could range from a lactose intolerance or maldigestion, the choice of eating only plant-based, being against the consumption of animal products, and others.

Since it is so commonly heard that you have to “drink your milk,” or at least eat some yogurt or cheese, to get enough calcium your body needs, some people could be afraid to stop consuming dairy. Sure, you could take a calcium supplement, but you don’t have to! Thomas Campbell, MD, recommends consuming at least 500mg of calcium daily. Here are some ways of eating to get all the calcium you would after a day’s worth of dairy products.

  1. Eat your greens!

    • Leafy greens may seem intimidating. I know, they may not taste great by themselves, but add some other veggies and dressings in there and you have yourself an incredibly delicious salad! Certain greens loaded in calcium content are collards (268 milligrams of calcium in one cup) and kale (94 mg in one cup).
  2. Drink your “milk’!

    • You’ve definitely heard during your childhood that milk equals strong bones. Sure, dairy milk contains calcium that can benefit bone strength, but so can ANY other type of fortified milks bought at the store. Fortified plant-based milks are a great alternative to dairy milk with just as much, if not commonly more, calcium – keep an eye out for almond, coconut, soy, hemp, or oat milk when you’re doing your grocery shopping next week.
  3. Get those seeds ‘n beans in!

    • Sesame seeds (88 mg of calcium per tablespoon) and chia seeds (177 mg of calcium per ounce) are so easily accessible and packed with the nutrient that makes our bones strong and healthy. Beans are also great, as there’s many different kinds that can be put into salads, wraps, sandwiches, or made into hummus. Just half a cup of raw soybeans has 258 mg of calcium! Grab these at the store and see how easy they are to incorporate into your diet!


Written by Julia Stanitski, with contributions from www.onegreenplanet.org and https://nutritionstudies.org.

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