(HealthyResearch.com) – People who don’t eat dairy due to lactose intolerance, a vegan diet or for some other reason may have to work harder to get their daily calcium. According to Harvard Health, most people need around 500 to 700mg of the essential mineral every day. Need some help meeting that daily goal? Try these six great non-dairy sources.
It may sound surprising, but you can get calcium and a lot of other great nutrients from beans. For the highest-calcium options, Naturally Savvy recommends pinto, kidney and white beans, as well as black-eyed peas. Other varieties also have calcium, but in much lower concentrations.
Figs have a lot of calcium for their size, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and they make a great snack, too. Get them dried, and they’ll last a long time, so you can keep enjoying them and making sure your calcium levels stay where they should be for optimal health. These little fruits are also sweet, so they can feel like a treat or dessert as part of a healthy diet.
3. Non-Dairy Milks
For anyone who likes milk but wants to avoid dairy, non-dairy beverages, such as soy or almond milk, can be good choices. There are also rice, hemp, cashew, and other types of these drinks that are fortified in addition to the natural calcium levels in their ingredients.
4. Fortified Cereals
Some cereals have been fortified with calcium for a long time, and for others it’s a more recent development. WebMD recommends any fortified cereal to add more calcium to the diet. Just beware of what else is in the cereal, as some contain high amounts of sugar and chemicals such as food dyes, which not everyone may want in their diet.
It’s possible to get tofu that’s fortified with calcium in the same way that some non-dairy beverages and cereals are fortified. Standard tofu also has some naturally occurring calcium because it’s made from bean curd, which contains calcium. But for anyone really looking for more calcium in their diet, the fortified option is the right choice. Tofu is a versatile food that can be used in nearly any kind of dish, so it’s an easy way to get more nutrition with plenty of options.
Anyone who likes fish and enjoys eating sardines can get a lot of calcium that way. Make sure to consume the soft bones, since that’s where most of the calcium is found, and it’s an easy way to get more of the mineral. While not everyone likes these little fish, adding them to other dishes instead of eating them on their own can make them a tastier choice.
No matter which foods you choose to get your daily dose of calcium, there are some great options available that don’t have to include dairy. That’s good news for people who can’t consume dairy due to personal or digestive issues. There are plenty of reasons to choose not to eat dairy, but there’s no reason you can’t get enough calcium to give you healthy and strong teeth and bones.
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