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Seeking a Calcium-rich Alternative Without any MOO products?

Seeking a Calcium-rich Alternative Without any MOO products?

By: Dr. Lindsey Paczkowski, DPT

Do you “hard pass” on dairy products and unsure of where to get the calcium your body craves?  Keep reading to learn about healthy alternatives to get calcium-rich foods in your diet that are dairy-free.

When you ask most people to name a food high in calcium, most will say milk, cheese or yogurt. Which these foods do include calcium, but for those of you whom choose to avoid dairy products, have an allergy or intolerance to dairy…where should we go to get this necessary mineral for our diet.

Before we go any further, let’s talk a little more about why is calcium important? 

Calcium is the most common mineral in our body.

The main jobs of calcium:

Bone Health: 99% of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones.

Heart Function: Calcium keeps our heart beating, there’s a mechanism that includes calcium that makes the cardiac muscle in our heart contract. How incredible!

Nerve Transmission: The muscles in our body require calcium to contract, we need adequate calcium to move, jump and function.

As you can see, calcium is vital to have in our diet.  According to the World Health Organization & Mayo Clinic 1 recommend 1,000mg/day. Also a reminder to include Vitamin D as it helps calcium absorb, and weight-bearing activities and exercise to encourage stronger bone remodeling3.

Pro tip from Mayo Clinic2: If the label states that the product provides, say, 30 percent of your daily calcium requirement, you can add a zero to find out just how much that is in milligrams — in this case, you’d be getting 300 mg.

Now you know more about calcium’s role in our body, let’s find some dairy-free options to include in your meals today!

  • Dark leafy greens (collard greens, curly kale, turnip greens)
  • Spinach
  • Acorn squash
  • Broccoli
  • Canned sardines. Check the label to be sure they’re canned in oil, bones included.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oranges
  • Figs

Curious to see how these foods stack up to other food groups? Check out this calcium content chart provided from NHS Oxfordshire, it’s an excellent way to see how your veggies calcium content can easily rival the dairy products.

“Moo”-ve over dairy, there are some alternative foods you can consume to achieve your daily intake of calcium; so no excuses if you don’t do dairy. Get that calcium and get active!

References:

Link for calcium content chart: https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/osteoporosis/documents/calcium-for-dairyfree.pdf

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