How to Get Calcium Without Drinking Milk

How to Get Calcium Without Drinking Milk

It may seem difficult to get your daily dose of calcium, especially if you’re lactose intolerant or just don’t like the stuff. What lots of people don’t know is that milk isn’t the only way to get your fill of this important mineral. By following a diet of calcium-rich foods, you can skip the milk and still strengthen your bones.

Why do I need it?
Calcium is not only helpful in keeping your teeth and bones strong, but it also keeps your heart, nerves and muscles working correctly.  Lack of calcium in a person’s diet can lead to osteoporosis, which leaves bones weak and brittle.

How much do I need?
The amount of calcium that you need depends on a few factors, age and gender being the most important.  Children and teenagers are encouraged to consume 1200 milligrams of calcium per day.  Pregnant or breastfeeding women need slightly more- 1300 milligrams per day is recommended.  Men under the age of 50 and premenopausal women need about 800 milligrams per day, while men over 50 and peri- or postmenopausal women need 1500 milligrams.

How can I get it?
Leafy green vegetables are high on the list when it comes to calcium content.  Boiled collard greens contain about 270 mg of calcium per cup, boiled spinach contains about 250 mg per cup, boiled kale has about 175 mg, and boiled Swiss chard has about 100 mg.   
Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Kale with Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and Bacon Bits
Sassy Swiss Chard

One raw orange has about 75 mg of calcium.  Choose a cup of calcium-fortified orange juice instead and you’ll get about 350 mg. 
Tangy Orange Juice Muffins
Orange Marmalade
Orangelicious Slow Cooked Pork Chops

Whole roasted or toasted sesame seeds are your best bet at 280 mg of calcium per ounce.  Dried sesame seeds much less calcium with about 90 mg per ounce. 
Soba with Toasted Sesame Seed Sauce
Crockpot Sesame Seed Chicken
Crunchy Sesame Chicken Salad

Salmon, along with other oily fish such as sardines, are a good source of calcium.  If possible, purchase salmon that still has bones in it, as this will provide you with significantly more calcium than the boneless kind.  A 3 ounce can of bone-in salmon contains about 190mg of calcium.
Salmon with Honey Mustard
Salmon with Feta Cheese
Citrus Salmon

The calcium content of broccoli depends on the way it is prepared.  If it is raw, a cup of it may only have about 35  mg of calcium, while a cooked cup can contain between 75 and 95 mg of calcium. 
Broccoli Stir-Fry
Broccoli Quiche
Broccoli Salad

Nuts are a great go-to food when you’re in need of calcium. One cup of pecans contains about 75 mg of calcium while a cup of English walnuts contains about 115 mg.  One ounce of almonds contains about 75 mg of calcium.   
Almond Mandarin Salad
Pecan Cake
Walnut Rice Pilaf

Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast for lactose-free individuals.  One cup of instant oats contains between 85 and 100 mg of calcium, so it’s a great way to start your morning. 
Oatmeal Apple Raisin Muffins
Filled Oatmeal Date Bars
Steel Cut Oatmeal


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