Best known for its role in preserving the health of our teeth and bones, calcium is an essential mineral that our bodies crave from fetal stage to old age. In addition to strengthening our bones, calcium also aids in the proper function of our nervous systems and the growth of our muscles. The mineral also strengthens our overall immune system while deterring high blood pressure and suppressing the growth of certain cancer cells. However, as beneficial as calcium is for our body, many people fall short of the daily intake requirements. A deficiency in calcium can lead to weakened immune system, formation of cavities, improper bone growth and osteoporosis. According to the National Institutes of Health, Children (birth to 18 years) should be consuming between 200 to 1,300 mg of calcium a day while adults aged 19 to 50 requires 1,000 mg daily. Men aged 51 to 70 need 1,000 mg daily while women aged 51 to 70 need 1,200 mg daily.
Somehow, calcium got hooked up with dairy products so deep that some people are unaware that other foods also contain the valuable mineral. Although dairy is the most popular source of calcium, it certainly isn’t the only. Below are 10 healthy and delicious non-dairy sources of calcium
10 Healthy and Delicious Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium:
- Kale: 205 mg per ½ cup serving
- Almonds: 93 mg per ¼ cup serving
- Oranges: 71 mg per I cup
- Broccoli: 124 mg per 2 cups boiled broccoli
- Canned sardines: 320 mg per 3 oz serving
- Figs: 135 mg per 5 fig serving
- Sesame Seeds: 51 mg per 1 tsp. serving
- Coconut Milk: 38 mg per 1 glass
- Blackstrap Molasses: 137 mg per 1 tbsp.
- Chia Seeds: 300 mg per 1.5 ounce serving
There is no reason not to get your daily intake of calcium. If you are intolerable to dairy, you can still eat and drink non-dairy calcium and reward your body with a lifetime of resistant bones and herculean teeth.