Food sources of calcium
Dairy is the most common food source of calcium, but, by no means, the only food source or even the best food source.
There are many nutritious and dairy-free foods that are an excellent source of calcium. Some great real-food budget-friendly options for getting enough calcium are:
Bone broth is an excellent source of calcium and many other minerals. Broth also contains the amino acids proline and glycine which are important for digestion, skin health, nervous system health and wound healing. They are needed for production of glutathione, which plays a protective role in the body.
A bone broth can be made from chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, bison, and other game, is a great way to add calcium to the diet. Boiling and simmering the bones over long periods of time allows the calcium and other minerals to dissolve in to the water.
Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.
It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Even a tiny amount of calcium from bones is easily absorbed, making the broth one of the best sources of calcium.
One six-ounce serving of canned wild salmon has over 110 milligrams of absorbable calcium and canned sardines rank about the same (or higher). Since these foods are also a good source of Vitamin D, they enhance digestion of the calcium and make it more usable.
Their Majesty Dark, Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are another great dietary source of calcium, though some are better than others. Collard greens, turnip greens, Bok Choy, kale and broccoli all ranked really well for being absorbable sources of calcium while spinach and seaweed ranked low on the list.
Dark leafy greens are also great sources of folate, Vitamins A, C, E and K and B-vitamins. If you make no other changes in your diet, you will see positive results just from adding a few extra servings of green leafy vegetables a day.
Consider other calcium-rich foods
There are many other food sources of calcium including:
- beans (if tolerated)
- blackstrap molasses
- sesame seeds
Eating probiotic rich foods (like sauerkraut, water kefir, kimchee, etc.) will help the body digest all foods and assimilate more nutrients. Optimizing Vitamin D levels will also help the body use calcium more efficiently and improve digestion.
How to get enough calcium without dairy
The bottom line is that those who for health or personal reasons choose not to consume dairy can absolutely get enough calcium from other, even healthier sources. Indeed, in many cases, non-dairy food sources of calcium can be healthier since they are also sources of other vitamins and minerals.
Those who don’t consume dairy should be conscious of the need for real food sources of calcium and make an effort to include foods like broth, green leafy vegetables and other healthy sources of fats, protein and vegetables as part of a varied diet.
Do you eat dairy? Do you consume these other foods? SHARE BELOW!