Calcium is an important nutrient needed primarily by the body for proper development of bones and teeth. As such a good dose of calcium needs to be included in your diet on a daily basis.
Most people obviously rely on dairy for meeting their calcium needs, but then there are others who may not be able to do so because of certain dietary choices, or for personal preferences.
So how do such individuals ensure that they are getting an adequate supply of calcium in their diet? The solution is not as difficult as it may seem for there are a number of other non-dairy options to consider.
For starters, many plant products contain calcium sources. Plus eating these calcium rich, non-dairy foods also provides the body with a variety of other nutrients. Moreover, calcium in non-dairy foods is present in the form that’s useful for your body without risks associated with dairy consumption. The body is also better able to absorb this calcium than from dairy products, especially if there is an intolerance or allergy involved.
Many leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium but the amount of calcium absorbed by the body varies for each plant.
Spinach is known to have a generous amount of calcium but its high oxalate content only allows a small amount to be absorbed. On the other hand, collards and broccoli allow for moderate calcium absorption whereas the calcium in kale and bok choy is absorbed rather well.
Other calcium rich foods include, almonds, figs, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lentils, Swiss chard, tofu, salmon and sardines to name just a few.
Calcium can also be obtained from beverages such as calcium fortified soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and calcium fortified fruit juices like orange juice and cranberry juice.
Beans and cereals like oatmeal can also provide substantial supplies of calcium in your diet. And when you decide to sprinkle your food with herbs to make them more flavorful, just remember that herbs are calcium dense too, and including them in your meals can help achieve your daily recommended calcium target.