We all know that calcium is essential for good bone health. Since our kinder years, it has been drilled into us that calcium comes from cows… and I’m sure we can all recite the 3 recommended servings of dairy per day. The problem with those recommendations is that it doesn’t take into account the fact that dairy, alongside beef, is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cheese and kefir, and I do advocate that dairy has an important role in general nutrition. But if you are like me, and struggle to get your ‘three recommended serves of dairy’ in, maybe its time to start looking at other sources of non-dairy calcium foods to ensure we are meeting the recommended targets for bone health.
10 Surprisingly Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
For the general adult population, we should be aiming for 1000mg of calcium per day. For reference sake, a glass of dairy milk has ~300mg of calcium. Here are my top 10 surprisingly non-dairy source of calcium.
- Soybeans, cooked 1 cup – 175mg
- Figs, 5 – 88-137mg
- Navy Beans, cooked 1 cup 127mg
- Collard Greens, 1/2 cup cooked – 113mg
- Black beans, cooked 1 cup – 46-`102mg
- Kale, raw 1/2 cup – 90mg
- Seaweed, raw 1/2 cup – 67mg
- Sesame Tahini, hulled – ~50mg
- Flaxseeds, 2 tbsp. – 47mg
- Oranges, 1 med – 52mg
Note: For beans and nuts, the calcium absorption can be maximised by soaking the food before consumption.
For more information on non-dairy sources of calcium and the role calcium has to play for bone health check out my post Maximising Calcium For Bone Health on a Dairy Free Diet. More information on dairy free milk alternatives can be found here Milk Alternatives, Finding The Best One For You.