The Best Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

The Best Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium

April 4, 2024
The Best Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium

If you’re lactose intolerant and wondering how to add more high calcium foods to your diet, here’s some good news: milk and dairy products are not the only foods that are packed with calcium! There are many non-dairy sources of calcium you can include in everyday meals, such as beans, soy foods, vegetables and seafood.

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Here is a list of some of the best foods rich in calcium and vitamin D that you can find at your local grocery store. Most non-dairy foods high in calcium are economical as well, making it easy to incorporate them into your daily meal plan. Plus get healthy recipes that not only include the best foods with calcium, but taste delicious too.

Why should more people eat non-dairy foods high in calcium?

Calcium is an important natural mineral to build strong bones and teeth. Many people don’t get enough calcium in their diet, especially if they need to avoid dairy products. Those who don’t get enough daily calcium are more at risk for osteoporosis, a disease that can lead to fractures and reduced mobility as they age.

While dairy foods like skim milk and yogurt are among the best natural sources of calcium, many people are intolerant to dairy because they can’t absorb lactose, a sugar found in most dairy foods.

Here are some of the best non-dairy foods to eat to get your fill of bone-building nutrients like calcium and vitamin D:

Canned Salmon – This high protein fish is a true calcium powerhouse, with 180 mg per serving. You can enjoy canned salmon in a filling entree like salmon cakes, or in a light lunch like salmon salad. If you prefer the taste of fresh salmon, it still packs a nutritious punch with a healthy serving of omega-3 fatty acids and 36 mg of calcium in a 3-ounce serving. Fresh salmon can be grilled or baked in a dish like citrus salmon, or enjoyed as the main protein in salmon tacos

Tofu – Soy products like tofu can have as much as 400 mg of calcium in a 4-ounce serving and can be used in a variety of recipes. You can cook tofu with eggs for added protein, use it in a stir fry dish with vegetables and soy sauce, or even add it to desserts like Mexican chocolate mousse.

Edamame – Another high calcium soy food is edamame, which can have as much as 130 mg per cup. Enjoy edamame steamed with a dash of salt, or use it in dishes like Greek edamame salad or a soba noodle stir fry dish.

White beans – Beans are a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets because they are full of healthy protein and fiber. But certain beans are also high in calcium, including navy beans, great northern beans and white beans, which have about 190 mg of calcium in a cup. Beans can be used in a variety of dishes, such as turkey soup, rigatoni with sausage, or a kale, white bean and tomato salad.

Green leafy vegetables – Broccoli, collards, Swiss chard, kale and cabbage are green leafy vegetables that are high in calcium and vitamin D. There are a number of ways to cook and serve these, including sauteed greens, vegan broccoli cheese soup, or a salad with a light dressing, such as this Green Goddess Salad.

Plant milks – Many plant-based milk products are loaded with calcium, giving you as much as you would find in regular dairy milk. Almond, oat, rice, and soy milk can have as much as 350 to 400 mg of calcium in an 8-ounce glass. If you prefer to not drink it straight, try a green smoothie bowl, creamy pasta with broccoli, or this tomato soup, which all have a healthy serving of non-dairy milk in the recipe.

Now that you know the best non-dairy foods to eat that are high in calcium, it’s time to get cooking! Need more non-dairy recipes? Here are best non-dairy snacks to enjoy on a lactose free diet.

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