Did you know that you don’t just need calcium for your bone health? It’s also necessary for muscle contraction, blood coagulation, and nerve impulse transmission. Depending on your age and life stage, you likely need between 1,000 – 1,200 mg of calcium – or 3 glasses of milk – per day.
But what if your body doesn’t like milk? An estimated 30 – 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant and can’t get their calcium from dairy sources. Thankfully, there are lots of dairy-free foods that provide calcium! See the list below for my favorite non-dairy foods sorted by the amount of calcium they contain.
- Almond Milk: 450 mg per cup (Almond Breeze)
- Oatmeal: 187 mg per cup
- Kale: 101 mg per cup (raw)
- Broccoli: 86 mg per 2 cups (raw)
- Almonds: 75 mg per 1/4 cup
- Orange: 65 mg per 1 medium fruit
- Pumpkin Purée: 64 mg per 1 cup
- Asparagus: 40 mg per 10 spears
- Spinach: 30 mg per 1 cup (raw)
- Figs: 20 mg per 1 medium fruit
So use kale as the base of your salad, eat a handful of almonds for a snack, and cook broccoli as a side dish for dinner!
In addition to the foods above, many grains are now fortified with calcium. You can get 112 mg of the mineral from a cup of Cheerios, and 65 mg from a slice of white bread. Calcium is a mineral listed on the bottom of the food label, making it easy to double check the amount you are getting in your packaged foods.
If you aren’t eating enough of the mineral, consider purchasing a multivitamin that has calcium in it.