Dairy products are considered the best to fulfill the calcium requirement of the body. It is an essential nutrient needed for the health of the bones and teeth. It also ensures optimum functioning of your muscles, nerves, and cardiac cells.
Drinking two glasses of milk every day can help prevent the deficiency of calcium. Additionally, you may eat cheese, yogurt, or other dairy products to ensure proper supply of calcium.
However, some people either do not like the taste of milk or may have an intolerance to these products. Consuming milk is also contrary to the rules of a vegan diet since it is an animal-based product.
However, it doesn’t mean your body will be deprived of calcium if you don’t consume dairy products as, luckily, there are a few fruits and vegetables that can provide a good amount of this mineral. Here is the list of non-dairy foods rich in calcium:
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth is a perfect replacement for milk for those who don’t like its taste. It also contains several other minerals including iron, phosphorus, sulfur, silicon, and magnesium.
Broth also provides the amino acids called proline and glycine that help in improving the digestion, skin health, and the nervous system functions and also hasten the wound healing. These amino acids are also needed for the production of glutathione that protects the body from the toxic substances.
Plus, bone broth is easy to make and hence, you can consume it daily. You can prepare a bone broth from chicken, lamb, beef, bison, and fish bones. The all you need to do is boil and simmer the bones for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the calcium and other nutrients to seep into the water.
Even a small amount of calcium from bones is absorbed easily making this broth one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium.
2. Fish with Bones
Agreed that bone broth is easy to make. Yet, some people do not have the patience to wait for that much time to allow it to a simmer. If you find making a bone broth too tedious or time-consuming, here’s another easier-to-make high-calcium alternative for you using fish bones. Fish bones are an excellent source of easily absorbable calcium. The recommended way to consume fish bones to get a high amount of calcium lies in the canned fish such as sardines and salmon.
The fish bones tend to become soft during the canning process. Hence, they can be chewed easily and consumed with the fish.
One six-ounce serving of sardines and wild salmon provides about 110 milligrams of absorbable calcium. Additionally, these foods also contain vitamin D, which helps to enhance the absorption of calcium and increases its availability.
To prepare, you just need a tin of sardines or salmon. Sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and add half a tablespoon of lemon juice for a perfect high-calcium dish.
3. Dark, Leafy Greens
This one’s for the vegans. If you are avoiding the dairy products for being a vegan; then, the high calcium content of bone broth and fish bones holds no importance to you. You need to turn to the dark leafy greens to ensure your body is not deprived of calcium.
Dark leafy greens provide a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K as well as folate. Eat plenty of Collard Greens, Kale, Broccoli, and Turnip Greens all of which are ranked high in the list of foods containing absorbable sources of calcium.
One cup of cooked Collard greens can provide almost 268 milligrams of calcium. You may also consume spinach and seaweed, which also contain a good amount of calcium; however, the form of calcium present in these veggies is less absorbable than those in the other greens.
4. Dried Figs
Dried figs make up for a tempting dessert. Just eight pieces of dried figs provide 107 mg of calcium. This fruit packs in loads of fibers, and antioxidants, which improve your general health and also ease the digestion. You can turn the delicious dry figs into a creamy jam or eat them raw for your mid-day snack.
5. White Beans
These creamy and light legumes provide a great source of calcium. These are also high in other minerals like iron, and magnesium. Just add white beans to a pasta dish with other veggies. You can also skip the chickpeas and instead, make a delicious hummus using white beans.
6. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap Molasses offers an opportunity to satisfy your sweet tooth while also taking care of your bones and teeth. It is richer in flavor and darker in color than regular molasses, and provides a unique flavor and an interesting hue to your desert. It is filled with calcium, along with iron, and vitamins.
7. Bok Choy
Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage, is a rich source of calcium. Eating one cup of shredded cabbage as a salad can provide 74 mg of calcium. This versatile nutrient-loaded food also offers a hefty dose of iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C along with loads of fibers. You can add it to any main dish or stir-fry it with olive oil and garlic for a healthy side dish.
Oranges are not just rich in vitamin C as many people believe. They are also rich in calcium and provide powerful antioxidants. A medium-sized orange contains 65 mg of calcium. You can enjoy this fruit anytime for your mid-meals snack, or add it to any dish to enhance the flavor with it citrus tinge.
9. Black-eyed Peas
Half a cup of black beans is filled with 185 mg of calcium, together with a heavy dose of potassium, and folate! It is a healthier alternative to the fat-filled mayo. Just whip up some black-eyed pea and spread it on the bread slice for a yummy sandwich.
Some other non-dairy sources of calcium include:
- Sesame Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
So, if you are a vegan, suffer from lactose intolerance, or simply do not like the taste of milk, don’t worry. You can still have healthy bones and teeth by replacing milk with these calcium-rich foods.