Is Dairy Really the Best Source of Calcium?
It’s not uncommon knowledge that for strong, healthy bones we need adequate calcium in our diets.
In adults ages 19-70 it is recommended that you get an average of 1,000mg of calcium per day. In adults ages 70+, it’s recommended you consume 1,200mg of calcium per day.
At this point, it’s likely your mind is asking, got milk?, which isn’t surprising as the most common sources of calcium are milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy items. It’s important to note, though, that consuming too much dairy can sometimes do more harm than good.
According to Harvard, 90 percent of Asians, 70 percent of blacks and Native Americans, and 50 percent of Hispanics are lactose intolerant, compared to only about 15 percent of people of Northern European descent. What this means is that many of us experience mild to severe discomfort and symptoms when consuming a significant amount of dairy.
Higher Risk of Cancer
Studies also show that high intakes of calcium result in higher risk of ovarian cancer for women and prostate cancer for men.
This being said - you might be surprised to hear that calcium is abundant in many foods across the board. If dairy isn’t your thing, here are three non-dairy (and delicious!) sources of calcium:
Kale isn’t just garnish; it’s versatile, yummy, and has 188mg of calcium in every 2 cups.
Switch up your salads and add raw kale as the base. Kale is not only chock full of calcium, but is anti-inflammatory and promotes natural anti-aging.
Our favorite way to prepare it is to remove the stem, chop it up into small pieces and massage it with some sea salt and olive oil. This will break down it’s cellular walls and make it more tender and enjoyable to eat. Add grilled chicken, avocados, lemon juice, and calcium-rich sesame seeds for a filling, whole meal.
These light and mild in flavor legumes have 191mg of calcium in every cup. Not only that, but they’re rich in iron and protein.
Add white beans to your kale salad instead of chicken for a vegetarian source of protein, or toss them into your pasta dishes.
If you want to get fancy, blend them up with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a bone-healthy and fan-favorite dip.
We mentioned it before, but these tiny little guys are full of calcium; 88mg in every tablespoon to be exact.
Sesame seeds have a delicious nutty flavor and quite easy on the budget. Add them to your salads, blend them up in your dips, and sprinkle them all over the place.
You can also consume these nutty seeds in the form of tahini, the peanut butter of sesame seeds. Our favorite way to eat tahini is to mix it with honey and dip apple slices in it for a sweet treat.
As you can see there are lots of ways to consume calcium outside of dairy. The above ingredients can be transformed into so many different flavors and dishes.
Ignite your creativity and made sure you’re giving love to those ever important bones.