Bone Up On Calcium With These Delicious Non-Dairy Foods and Beverages

So now that you have been diagnosed with a dairy allergy, you being to wonder how in the world will you meet your bodies calcium needs.  As you know calcium is very important for nourishing your bones and teeth, along with helping regulate blood pressure and maintain healthy blood vessels, among other things.  It is recommended that adults consume about 1,000 mgs a day while kids and teens are recommended to take in about 1,300 mgs.

  For those who can tolerate dairy in their diet, this is not difficult at all. You can meet your calcium needs by adding a few glasses of milk, a few slices of cheese or adding yogurt to your diet.  However for those who have a dairy allergy, meeting their calcium needs can be quite a challenge.  

Truth be told, with a little research you can find that there are actually many non-dairy foods that contain a significant source of calcium.  By adding these foods and drinks into your diet, you can be certain to get just what your body needs.  Keep in mind that it is also important to pair these foods with vitamin D rich foods so that the calcium will be better absorbed.  

Before you head out to the supermarket, be sure to take this handy-dandy calcium cheat sheet with you.

  • White Beans -  Perfect to make into a bean salad, toss with your pasta or make into a dip. These legumes are a great source of calcium, iron, and protein.  
  • Collard Greens - This typically Southern food is loaded with calcium as well as an abundance of vitamin A. 
  • Canned Salmon - The calcium is found in the bones that are contained in the canned variety.  So be sure to not pick them out in order to get the maximum calcium from this food.
  • Sardines - Open a can of sardines to add this food that is rich in calcium, omega 3’s and vitamin D.
  • Broccoli - This crunchy and delicious vegetable is loaded with calcium and also contains nearly twice the vitamin C of an orange. 
  • Broccoli Rabe - Similar to broccoli, with a slightly more bitter taste, this vegetable is loaded with calcium and brings with it vitamin C and A, along with protein.
  • Seaweed - Traditionally found in Japanese cuisine, this food has now become a common low-calorie snack choice. Tasty and nutritious, it is full of calcium, fiber, and iodine. 
  • Bok Choy - This Chinese cabbage provides calcium, along with vitamin A and C. It is also loaded with fiber.
  • Oranges - A great fruit to add to your diet packed with calcium and vitamin C.  Many brands of orange juice are also fortified with calcium to add even more.
  • Edamame - These little green pods are a super powerful food! They are one of the few non-animal foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.  Not to mention they are a great source of calcium.
  • Kale - Considered a superfood, this leafy green is rich in calcium and antioxidants.
  • Figs - For a sweet indulgence try a dried fig, which is loaded with magnesium and calcium.
  • Almonds - This is one nut not to pass up on! It is loaded with calcium but also contains potassium, vitamin E and iron as well.  
  • Sesame Seeds -  Who knew that these tiny seeds packed so much nutrition.  They not only contain calcium but also help to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.

Then there are foods that are fortified with calcium so consider adding these as well.

  • Instant Oatmeal - This is a great breakfast option that is full of fiber and calcium.
  • Orange Juice -  This beverage is full of vitamin C and can be found fortified with calcium as well.
  • Soymilk - For those who can’t have dairy, this can be a great alternative milk option.  It contains more protein than traditional milk and can be found fortified with calcium.
  • Firm Tofu- This vegetarian alternative is a great way to add in both protein and calcium to any meal.

So while you may have a dairy allergy do not think the impossible.  In fact, there are many delicious and nutritious food options that will help you to get all the calcium that your body needs.