When you were growing up, did your mother always tell you to drink your milk? If so, she knew what she was talking about. Milk is high in calcium, and calcium is super good for your body.
Calcium is the mineral that is found the most in the body, and it is necessary for doing so many things, including the formation of new bones and teeth, and it is used for important bodily functions, such as blood clotting and contracting muscles. The majority of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones and in the teeth.
Interesting fact: Bones are actually alive! They are living tissues that flux. In other words, new bone is always been created while old bone is destroyed. When you are young, the process primarily focuses on the creation of bones, which is why your bone density increases as you grow. At about age 30, the development of new bones reaches its peak. Once it reaches its peak, the destruction of old bone becomes more prevalent and causes low bone density and weaker bones.
In order to maintain a healthy bone density, consuming an adequate amount of calcium is vital. By consuming calcium, your providing your body with the building blocks that it needs to create new bone tissue and upkeep the functions of the body that calcium is used for.
Dairy is very high in calcium, which is why your mom always told you to drink your milk when you were a kid. However, as an adult, you may not like the taste of milk, or you may not be able to ingest milk or other dairy because you have developed lactose intolerance.
Just because you don’t like or can’t consume dairy products doesn’t mean that your calcium intake has to suffer. There are plenty of foods that are very high in calcium that aren’t dairy-based. If you’re looking for a way to step up your calcium intake without dairy, give these 14 foods a try:
- Broccoli – Broccoli is loaded with calcium! 2 cups of raw broccoli have 86 milligrams of calcium.
- Collard Greens – 1 cup of cooked collard greens will really step up your calcium intake; it contains 268 milligrams of calcium!
- Kale – It’s way more than a garnish; kale is a great source of calcium. 1 cup or raw kale has 101 milligrams of calcium.
- Broccoli Rabe – Eat a 2/3 cup serving of this stuff and you’ll add 100 milligrams of calcium to your diet.
- Edamame – You’ll pack 98 grams of calcium into your diet with 1 cup of cooked edamame.
- Bok Choy – 1 cup of shredded Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) will add 74 milligrams to your diet.
- Figs – 121 milligrams of calcium are found in ½ cup dried figs; plus, they’ll tickle your sweet tooth.
- Oranges – One cup of orange juice will give you 27 milligrams of calcium, and one large orange will give you 74 milligrams.
- Canned Salmon – Eat half a can and you’ll take in 232 milligrams of calcium.
- White Beans – Half a cup of cooked white beans gives you 63 milligrams of calcium.
- Okra – There’s an impressive 82 milligrams of the good stuff in 1 cup of okra.
- Tofu – Talk about a lot of calcium! You’ll get 434 milligrams in half a cup.
- Almonds – Eat 23 almonds and you’ll get 75 milligrams of calcium.
- Sardines – 351 milligrams of calcium is packed into one 3.75 ounce can of these salty fish.