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7 Richest Non Dairy Calcium Sources
- People need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day
- Non dairy calcium sources that can help meet that need, including tofu and spinach
- Orange juice fortified with calcium and agar are two of the highest food with calcium choices
- Refried beans, sardines, and sesame seeds are also excellent calcium sources
Most of us know that dairy products contain high levels of calcium, which is a necessary nutrient for our bodies. However, dairy products also tend to be in higher in fat and calories which is not good for us. Other people may be lactose intolerant which makes eating some dairy products a bad idea for their health. The good news is there are some good non dairy calcium sources available which can help us reach that 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day recommendation. Here are the top 7.
7. Orange juice fortified with calcium
If milk isn’t going to be on the menu, a good alternative is orange juice with calcium added to it. All of the major brands of the juice now offer this so it’s easier to find. One cup of the juice contains about 350 mg of calcium. Plus, orange juice is rich in other important nutrients, such as Vitamin C.
Another good source of calcium is tofu. A one-half cup serving of cooked tofu contains about 250 mg of calcium. If you’re worried you won’t want to eat the tofu, try hiding it in your food. For example, cook pieces alongside some chicken and add both to tacos. The tofu will take on the taste of the chicken so you shouldn’t notice it.
Spinach and other leafy green vegetables are high in calcium, too. One-half cup of frozen spinach, for example, contains 146 mg of calcium. And, of course, spinach contains lots of other good for you nutrients. One of those nutrients is Vitamin K which is also known to strengthen bones.
Another food with calcium levels that are pretty high are canned sardines. Eating just six of these sardines can give you 250 mg of calcium – that’s about one-fourth of the low end of the daily recommended intake. If you’re not a fan of sardines, some other types of seafood can work as well, including salmon (3 ounces contains 150 mg) and oysters (1 cup contains 195 mg).
3. Refried Beans
Although beans are definitely healthy for many reasons, including their high fiber concentration, you probably never would have considered them a source of calcium. While most beans contain decent amounts of calcium (around 80 mg for one cup), refried beans contain the highest amount at 188 mg per cup. Plus, refried beans can be a good substitute in your diet for saturated fat from meat products.
2. Sesame Seeds
If you want a healthy and calcium rich snack, one of the best choices is sesame seeds. Eating just a fourth cup of these seeds can give you 351 mg of calcium. You can eat the seeds plain, sprinkle them on a salad, or add them to some of your dishes. They are very versatile.
As far as non dairy calcium sources go, agar is definitely a good choice. Just 3.5 ounces of dried agar contains 625 mg of calcium. If you’re not familiar with agar, it’s a thickening agent made from seaweed. It’s a popular alternative to gelatin for vegetarians and can be found in vegan marshmallows, gummy bears, and more. You can also prepare it like gelatin and add fruit or other ingredients.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Minerals31 May 2009|