One of the most important minerals in the human body, calcium, is usually found in milk and other dairy products. The element plays an important role in the buildup of bones and teeth, and it is also essential to seamless cell signaling, muscle contraction, nerve function and blood clotting. But if you are one of the unlucky folks with lactose intolerance, your list of natural calcium sources is rather short. Or is it? Contrary to popular belief, you can still get your calcium RDA (approximately 1,000 milligrams for people aged below 50, and 1,200 milligrams for the 50+ population) from various organic sources even if dairy does not agree with your stomach. Here we have a list of calcium-laden foods which you should add to your diet if you do not eat dairy.
1. Chia seeds
With about 90 milligrams of calcium per tablespoon, chia seeds are one of the best calcium sources for vegans and lactose-intolerant people. In addition to their high calcium content, chia seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as magnesium and boron which facilitate calcium absorption.
2. Sesame seeds
Packing 989 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams of toasted seeds, sesame is one of the healthiest organic sources of this precious element. On top of that, sesame contains substantial quantities of copper and manganese, which makes it a perfect dressing for salads, cooked vegetables and sandwiches. You can use it either as a toasted seed or as tahini.
Boasting 179 milligrams of calcium per cup, white beans are one of the tastiest ingredients to add to your plate and keep the risk of osteoporosis at bay. You can eat beans either cooked, baked, in soups or burgers, just make sure you do not skip them.
4. Blackstrap molasses
Highly nutritious and extremely healthy, blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of standard sugar cane refinement procedures and it packs 172 milligrams of Ca per tablespoon. The delicious ingredient contains considerable amounts of potassium, copper, magnesium and manganese, so it is ideal for sweetening cookies, drinks and cakes.
5. Oranges and orange juice
A medium-sized orange contains 65 milligrams of calcium, and a cup of orange juice packs 500 milligrams of the bone-building mineral. Other important nutrients found in the fruit include vitamin C, fiber, potassium and vitamin B complex, and they also taste great both fresh and used in dressings, so do not leave them out from your menu.
Oatmeal is another calcium-rich food important for the human diet, and a cup of this delicious morning treat contains up to 187 milligrams of calcium and 4 grams of fiber. You can opt for fortified instant oatmeal varieties, but make sure you use the sugar-free brands to minimize risk of diabetes and weight gain.
With over 90 milligrams of calcium per cup of chopped greens, kale makes a refreshing spring salad for lactose-intolerant people. In addition to its high calcium content, kale is a great source of folate and antioxidants which impact human mood and prevent premature aging, so eating your greens will help you stay youthful, healthy and cheerful.
An ideal replacement for cow milk, soy milk is extremely rich in calcium and protein, so it will go perfectly with your morning cereals. With 300 milligrams of calcium per cup, soymilk can be used just like its animal-sourced counterpart, and the vegan milk version is very tasty, too.
If you are struggling to meet your RDA of naturally-sourced calcium, you can always reach for osteoporosis supplements to make up for the missing Ca. These calcium-packed foods are the best way to keep the risk of bone degradation at bay – and we also promise you will love the refreshing flavors of your new diet!