5 Delicious Sources of Calcium That Aren't Dairy
Bones and teeth aren’t the only reasons that your body needs calcium. Calcium also plays an important role in keeping your heartbeat regular. Calcium assists in muscle contraction throughout your body, including your most important muscle: your heart. For this reason, calcium is critical to maintaining a normal heartbeat. The nutrient’s work in your body doesn’t stop there, though. Calcium also plays a role in releasing needed hormones and enzymes, helping your brain communicate with the rest of your body through the nervous system, and ensuring your blood clots properly.
Not a fan of milk or yogurt, but are concerned about getting enough calcium and other important bone-supporting nutrients? Thankfully, dairy products aren't the only source of calcium. In fact, studies have shown that eating a well-balanced diet and getting your calcium from a variety of food sources, especially fruits and vegetables, offers the most benefit for your health. Studies of children, pregnant women and the elderly have all found that those with the highest fruit and vegetable consumption have the best bones. Relying solely on dairy products for calcium may not be the best idea.
Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
Even though milk, cheese and yogurt are well known for being high in calcium, if you don’t eat dairy, you can still get all the calcium you need from other sources. Here are 10 non-dairy sources of calcium.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy vegetables like collard greens, kale and Chinese cabbage offer calcium and are more bioavailable than other leafy green sources like spinach and Swiss chard. One cup of cooked collard greens provides 266 mg of calcium. That’s more than 20% of the 1,000 – 1,200 mg of calcium recommended daily for adults.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are easy to incorporate into your diet, making a great addition to smoothies, salads, breads and puddings.
Fish with edible bones like sardines and salmon are a great source of calcium. Just an ounce of sardines with bones contains 108 mg of this essential nutrient.
Soybeans are a good source of calcium, making tofu a great choice for getting your needed calcium. Look for calcium-set tofu, which has a higher amount of calcium.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, a member of the same family as cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, making it a good source of calcium. A cup of broccoli can give you 60 mg of calcium.
If you are looking to supplement your diet with more calcium as well as other bone-supporting nutrients, Pathway makes a comprehensive formula called Bone Guardian. Pathway also offers a vegan calcium supplement, Algae Based Calcium, made from sea vegetables. Both supplements contain highly absorbable forms of calcium in addition to synergistic nutrients and cofactors.
To learn more about calcium supplements, contact Village Green Apothecary.
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