We were all told growing up how important it was to drink a glass of milk with every meal, as it contains calcium that encourages strong bones.
For a long time, dairy was considered the best source of calcium, until new research began to emerge that found that this might not be the case.
One study found that drinking lots of milk did not reduce bone fractures, and it actually led to a higher risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Our bones do need calcium to stay strong, and although more research is still being done, it’s starting to look like dairy may not be the best source of the nutrient after all.
That being said, calcium is still essential for a healthy diet – you just need to find other, more effective ways of consuming the mineral. If you want to get more of the nutrient into your diet without relying on milk, try these seven sources of calcium that aren’t dairy.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as collard greens, kale, bok choy, swiss chard, and spinach are a good source calcium. Toss them in salads, sauté them in pasta, or add them to soups for an extra boost of the mineral.
These fatty high fish contain a high amount of calcium because of their soft edible bones. A three-ounce serving of sardines contains 20-30 percent of your daily recommended value of calcium, making these sea creatures a great option when it comes to your health.
3. White Beans
One cup of cooked white beans contains 140 mg of calcium, the equivalent of half a glass of milk. Use white beans instead of meat in your usual dishes, or add them to a salad or soup for added nutrients.
In addition to their high vitamin C content, oranges are a good source of plant-based calcium. One small orange contains 38 mg of the nutrient, so snack on the citrus fruit in between meals to reap its benefits.
Just one ounce of almonds contains 75 mg of calcium, so it’s not a bad idea to much on these heart-healthy nuts daily. Bring them to work as a snack, or add them to your salads and smoothies for added crunch and nutrients.
There’s a reason your mom stressed the importance of eating broccoli as a child. A single cup of the cruciferous vegetable contains 180 mg of calcium — 18 percent of your daily value.
7. Dried Figs
Dried figs are a treat on their own, but they also contain a hearty amount of the healthy-bone-promoting mineral. One cup of dried figs contains 68 milligrams, and you can add them to your breakfast smoothies, oatmeals, or even your salads for an extra-boost of the essential nutrient.
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