Traditionally, it has been thought that milk is the best source of calcium. Other derived products, like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream have also been grouped together and labeled as good sources of calcium. And while they certainly are great sources of calcium, over the years, other foods have appeared in scientific literature that also contains a good amount of calcium, making them an excellent complement to the aforementioned foods. Find our 10 nondairy foods that are high in calcium.
You probably know that green vegetables are amongst the healthiest foods out there, both in terms of nutrients and nutrient density. They are also low in calories and leave you feeling full and satisfied. But few know that many green vegetables – including kale and many others – also contain plenty of calcium, making these leafy greens an even more important part of your diet. If you can’t drink milk (or simply don’t like the taste), start consuming more kale to increase calcium intake. Kale has another added benefit: it is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in a multitude of ways.
Bok choy also goes by the name Chinese cabbage, because it originates from that region and is widely used in Chinese cuisine. Just like kale, bok choy contains sufficient amounts of calcium for it to be considered a good source of that nutrient. Widely used as an ingredient for all kinds of wok and noodle dishes, bok choy offers taste and nutrition; just two cups can give your around 150 mg of calcium. In fact, it is one of the most calcium-rich plants in terms of total calcium value. Despite its richness, it is not readily found in Western supermarkets.
Almonds are characterized by their sweet, crunch and nutty flavor. They have been used for centuries by many Mediterranean cultures as the main ingredient for many dishes. Nowadays, they are enjoyed as an energy-packed snack, which also happens to be amongst the healthiest. Almonds contain plenty of natural properties such as monounsaturated fat. Another big benefit is their large concentration of calcium: they have a higher amount of it than any other nut; no wonder so many people choose to drink almond milk. A single cup of almonds will give you around 470 mg of calcium
Next on the list of calcium-rich nondairy foods is sardines. Sardines are a great source of calcium, which is found in high concentrations in their flesh. Sardines are also known for the uncomfortably high amount of little fish bones they have, but don’t worry, those can be easily consumed without even feeling them in your mouth. Sardines, moreover, can easily be purchased in canned or fresh version, and then added to different types of dishes. For example, salads go just fine with sardines, which happen to give them a salty kick.
Another fish-based product on the list is salmon. Salmon is perhaps one of the most consumed fishes in all the world: it has universal appeal and is surprisingly healthy. Salmon is considered one of the best sources of protein, and it comes with low fat and calories. That’s why for health enthusiasts, salmon is often their go-to protein. Other than protein, salmon also contains considerable amounts of calcium. In fact, tinned salmon can contain up to 850 mg of calcium, and even more if it is prepared fresh. What gives salmon its calcium-rich properties are the bones, which contain the highest amount of calcium. Enjoy salmon baked, poached, or steamed for best results.
Sesame seeds are amongst the best sources of calcium because they are extremely dense in terms of nutrients: just one tablespoon alone contains around 80 mg of calcium, making this one of the best foods to give your body the energy it needs to build strong bones and keep other structures such as hair nice and healthy. Some of the oldest condiment known to mankind; sesame seeds have been used extensively throughout different cultures and are renowned for their rich and delicate flavor profile.
Another seed on the list, chia seeds are also an excellent source of calcium. Recently, chia seeds have become a health trend of sorts, with people adding them into porridges, smoothies, salads, and pretty much anything you can think of. When it comes to calcium, chia seeds are also a great source. An ounce contains around 180 mg of calcium, making this seed on the top contenders for the best sources of non-dairy calcium. Try soaking some chia seeds in water overnight and enjoy them in a bowl of fresh yogurt.
If you’re concerned about bone-related conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis, you might want to increase your consumption of tofu. This flavorless ingredient might not sound appetizing when eaten on its own, but when the right ingredients are added, tofu can be a fantastic source of calcium for the body. It’s also healthy in the sense that it is low in calories and saturated fats. Four ounces of tofu will usually contain around 700 milligrams of calcium. In some cases, more calcium is added to the produce. Tofu can be used in many dishes.
If you’re looking for alternatives to milk or milk-based products, then look no further. Soymilk is one of the strongest alternatives to traditional lactose products and is an incredible source of calcium. in fact, some brands of soymilk offer as much as (or even more) calcium when compared to other types of milk products. If you want to be sure that you’re getting the required amount of calcium, look for brands that contain fortified soymilk. Some brands of soymilk are fortified with tricalcium phosphate and are not healthier than regular soymilk.
Last but not least, broccoli is a superfood that has a surprisingly high quantity of calcium. Just two cups of raw broccoli contain around 90 milligrams of calcium, rivaling other similar plant foods in terms of calcium content. Besides containing a higher than average content of vitamin C, broccoli contains enough calcium to justify putting it on your plate on a weekly basis. Try steaming broccoli, or sautéing it with olive oil and garlic. Moreover, frequent consumption can help reduce your risk of developing cancer, amongst other diseases. Increase broccoli intake to see improvements in your health.