Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

While dairy is the typical source of calcium for most people, what about those who cannot, or choose not to, consume dairy? Are they doomed or can they boost their calcium levels without dairy? Read on to find out which foods pack a healthy dose of calcium without any of the dairy.

Recommended Calcium Intake

Calcium is an important mineral that helps build and restore bone health, aids in proper heart functions, and assists with nerve transmission. The daily recommendation for calcium is age-dependent:

  • Women under 50: 1,000 mg daily
  • Men under 71: 1,000 mg daily
  • Women 50 and over: 1,200 mg daily
  • Men 71 and over: 1,200 mg daily

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

There are plenty of non-dairy alternatives and healthy foods where you can get appropriate amounts of calcium. Here are just some examples:

  • Canned sardines – be sure they are canned in oil and bones are included
  • Fortified soy, almond, and rice milk
  • Fortified orange juice – be sure to check the label as not all orange juice is fortified with calcium 
  • Tofu made with calcium sulfate
  • Canned pink salmon with bones
  • Fortified cereals and English muffins – be sure to check the label for fortification levels
  • Greens – turnip, collard, and kale
  • Beans – garbanzo, kidney, navy, and canned baked beans (boiled green soybeans are also a good choice)
  • Canned shrimp
  • Veggies – cooked broccoli, Chinese cabbage, edamame, and acorn squash
  • Fruits – oranges, dried figs, and papaya

As you can see, there are plenty of additional ways you can get calcium other than dairy products. If you need help balancing your diet, or need additional tips to get around food intolerances/allergies, I’d strongly encourage you to meet with me for a FREE nutrition consultation!

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Sarah Brunner Registered Dietician at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian

Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.