When it comes to nutrients for women, there are many of them that are extremely important, but calcium is definitely at the top of the list. Unfortunately, it can be hard to ensure you are getting enough each day. Here are some ways to make sure you get enough calcium from your food.
Get Your Calcium from Dairy
The first way to get more calcium into your diet is through dairy products. Of course, if you are someone who can’t have dairy, either due to lactose allergies or a specific diet, then this won’t be an option for you. However, if this is not the case, it really is the best way to get enough calcium. Calcium is in milk, yogurt, and cheese, so you definitely have a lot of options. Here are some healthy ways to get more dairy:
Have fortified cereal with milk
Enjoy yogurt for a morning snack with granola or fruit
Sprinkle some cheese on your salad at lunchtime
Eat More Fish and Seafood – Bonus Healthy Fats!
If you have a dairy allergy but still fish, this is another way to consume more calcium instead of having to take another supplement each day. First of all, many types of fish will contain calcium, but you want the fish in the tin with the bones still in. These are where the calcium comes from. Look for sardines or salmon. You can also get it from fresh fish. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, instead try meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh, both of which contain calcium.
Add More Veggies to Your Diet
You can also get calcium from veggies, especially those dark leafy greens. These are often recommended over other types of greens because they are more nutrient-dense. Try greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens to get your calcium and other nutrients at the same time.
Top Salads with Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds do have a place in your healthy diet, you just want to be sure you look at the quantity and macros. However, as long as you pay attention to portion sizes, both nuts and seeds can be a good source of healthy fats and have vitamins and minerals like calcium in them. This includes nuts with high amounts of calcium, such as almonds or brazil nuts. You can enjoy them as a snack, or put them on top of yogurt or oatmeal. Sesame seeds are another good source of calcium.
How to Get Calcium in Your Diet Without Dairy
When you can’t have dairy, whether because of a dairy allergy or you have gone completely plant-based, you will need to find alternative sources for many nutrients. This includes calcium, which you might have gotten primarily from milk and cheese before. Luckily, there are plenty of great dairy-free sources of calcium.
The first way to get more calcium without dairy is to still drink milk! Instead of drinking milk from animals like cows or goats, you are going to look at dairy-free alternatives. The simplest way is to choose a nut milk like almond milk, or go with a rice or soy milk. These options provide about 30 to 50 percent of your daily requirement for calcium in just 8 ounces – which is really easy to fit into your day.
Beans and Legumes
Since you will be eating a good amount of beans and legumes to stay full throughout the day while eon a plant-based diet, they are great to use as a calcium source. For example, navy beans provide about 65 mg of calcium in one serving, while pinto beans have about 50 mg of calcium. You can also get a good amount of calcium with tofu, which has between 80 and 150 mg, depending on the type of tofu you get.
Plenty of fruits and vegetables contain calcium, and are really easy to add to your different meals and snacks. For example, oranges not only give you vitamin C, but 1 cup of oranges has 70 mg of calcium. For vegetables, enjoy turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, broccoli, edamame, kale, and bok choy. Looking for something sweet? Dried fids have 120 mg of calcium in about ½ cup. Figs are great because they are sweet like fruit, but they don’t spoil as quickly. You can bring a container of them on road trips, to work or school, or keep at home for when you want a quick, sweet snack that will also give you a nice healthy boost of calcium.
As you can see, it is simple to add in more calcium to your diet, without ever having to worry about not including milk. From using almond and soy milk in your cereal or coffee, to enjoying vegetables like bok choy and greens, you are going to get the nutrients you need with a well-balanced, vegan diet.