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 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 on 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.
Fruits and Vegetables
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 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.