Calcium is crucial for bone health, but it also ensures that your muscles, cells, and nerves function properly. We all know that dairy is brimming with calcium, but what if you’re lactose intolerant, allergic, are vegan or just don’t like the taste of dairy products? You’re in luck. There are lots of foods without dairy that are loaded with calcium. Here are seven of our favorites:
Calcium content: 351 milligrams in one 3.75-ounce can
Bonus: They aren’t nearly as scary as they sound! Sardines are a salty little treat when added to salads and pastas. You can even try them on your favorite crackers. Not only are they rich in calcium, but sardines are also an excellent source of vitamin B-12, which is a key nutrient for brain and nervous system health. Sardines also contain vitamin D which is essential for bone health.
- Collard Greens
Calcium content: 268 milligrams per 1 cup cooked
Bonus: In addition to helping you reach your daily calcium requirements, this Southern favorite is also full of nearly three days worth of vitamin A, a nutrient that helps maintain vision as you get older. Try sautéing collard greens with a bit of olive oil and garlic.
Calcium content: 232 milligrams in half a can
Bonus: Salmon can be pricey. If you can’t find environmentally friendly, farmed salmon or simply don’t want to spend the money on wild-caught salmon, try the canned variety. Half a can of salmon provides 44% your daily calcium needs, as well as 38 grams of protein.
Calcium content: 101 milligrams in 1 cup raw, chopped
Bonus: There’s a reason kale is considered a superfood. It’s low in calories, provides a day’s worth of vitamin C and twice the RDA of vitamin A. And of course, it’s calcium rich. Kale also provides vitamin K, a nutrient that helps your blood clot. Without it, you wouldn’t stop bleeding when you cut or bruise yourself.
Calcium content: 121 milligrams per 1/2 cup dried
Bonus: You might think you’re indulging a sweet treat when you take a bite of dried fig. But you are doing your body a big favor! Figs are loaded with fiber and potassium. They’re also a great source of magnesium, a nutrient the body uses in more than 300 biomechanical reactions, such as maintaining muscle function, keeping your heart rhythm steady, and strengthening your bones.
Calcium content: 86 milligrams in 2 cups raw
Bonus: Not only is broccoli full of calcium, but this cruciferous veggie also contains nearly twice the vitamin C of an orange! Some research suggests that diets high in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may be linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including colon and bladder cancer.
Calcium content: 74 milligrams in one large orange and 27 milligrams in a cup of orange juice
Bonus: Oranges are known for their immune boosting vitamin C content, but they’re also low in calories and rich in powerful antioxidants. You need antioxidants to ward off the damage of free radicals.