Calcium Rich Foods To Work Into Your Diet – Even If You Don’t Eat Dairy

Getting enough calcium is vital to a healthy diet, so we've asked top nutritionists for their go-to calcium rich foods...

An adult’s recommended daily allowance of calcium is 1,000mg which is equal to more than three cups of milk. But if you’ve got a dairy-free diet or quite simply can’t stand it, don’t worry – there are plenty more calcium rich food options where that came from.

Lovisa Nilsson, nutritionist, says, ‘It’s vital that we get enough calcium as the mineral helps to maintain a healthy bone structure and muscle function. If you want to increase your intake of calcium there are several foods that can help you with that.’


Leafy greens

‘Kale, is extremely low in calories, has zero fat and high levels of fibre, helping to keep you fuller for longer. If you are on a vegan or dairy-free diet, eating kale is a great way to increase your calcium intake. I recommend adding a side of kale to your evening meal or making your own homemade kale chips for a healthy snack. Spinach is another good source of calcium. The easiest way to consume spinach is to add raw leaves to a salad or eat boiled spinach with scrambled eggs at breakfast.’

Yoghurt
‘It’s rich in calcium which is important for healthy bones, and probiotic foods can help to calm down your stomach and kick-start your day. It counts for 40 per cent of your recommended daily intake. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron. Stick to the natural yogurts and not the flavoured ones that are full of added sugar. A dairy-free alternative is coconut yogurt, which is a perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.’

Broccoli
‘Broccoli is a ‘super-veg’ if ever there was one; the broccoli is jam-packed with essential nutrients including vitamins A-K and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous and many others.’

Oranges
‘They’re not only a good source of vitamin C, but also high in calcium. One orange contains over 70 milligrams of calcium. A refreshing snack for the summer, and by eating one orange you will get 6% of the calcium you need for the day.’

Almonds
‘They help to build strong bones and teeth and one of the richest sources of vitamin E, which improves your skin. Actually, almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. An alkalized body has better immune function and energy. In order to get all its nutrition, eat them with the skin on. As most of the healthy nuts it is high in in monounsaturated fats, which better the heart health.’

Nutritionist Kim Pearson says, ‘Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and has many roles. It’s most commonly associated with strong and healthy bones and teeth but it’s also necessary for muscle contractions, regulation of a normal heart beat and the transmission of nerve signals.’

Kim’s top calcium rich foods:

1. Natural organic yoghurt. Dairy products in general are high in calcium but I would suggest only eating them in moderation if they agree with you. Plain organic yoghurt is the best source.

2. Any fish where you eat the bones! I highly recommend sardines.

3. Sesame seeds.

4. Soya beans and tofu.

5. Finally, oranges, broccoli, spring greens and almonds contain moderate amounts of calcium too.

Lovisa Nilsson is the in-house nutritionist at the health and fitness app Lifesum.
Kim Pearson is a nutritionist at OMNIYA.

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