Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
Lactose-Free Calcium Foods
The mineral calcium helps to build strong teeth and bones, and helps regulate muscle function, nerve transmission, neurological activity and blood-clotting. Lack of calcium deficiency typically leads to weak bones (osteoporosis in women after menopause), unhealthy teeth and a risk of high blood pressure. Calcium present in bone mass helps to maintain the calcium level in the blood in the event of calcium deficiency in the diet. Good food sources of calcium include dairy food, leafy green vegetables, salmon, canned sardines and tofu. While dairy products are traditionally the main source of dietary calcium, there are other healthy ways to get calcium than from milk and cheese, which can contain a lot of saturated fat. The saturated fat content of 3 glasses of whole milk, for example, is the same as 13 strips of cooked bacon. If you don't like dairy products, choose from the foods below or take a calcium supplement - an easy and inexpensive way to obtain your daily calcium. See also Calcium in Dairy Foods.
Table 1. Lactose-Free Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
See below for Non-Dairy Food Sources of Calcium ranked by milligrams of calcium per standard amount. The bioavailability may vary. Both calcium content and bioavailability should be considered when selecting dietary sources of calcium. Some plant foods have calcium that is well absorbed, but the large quantity of plant foods that would be needed to provide as much calcium as in a glass of milk may be unachievable for many. Note: Calcium Adequate Intake (AI) for adults 19-50, is 1,000 mg/day.
Source: Nutrient values from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17.
Nutrition Resources About Calcium
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