Did you know that you can get the bone-health benefits of milk without drinking it? Whether you’re lactose intolerant, a vegan (or both!), or just not much of a liquid dairy fan, there are plenty of foods that can help you get your 1000mg — aka your daily intake – of calcium that your body needs.
Almonds – More than just a tasty snack, almonds contain 183mg of calcium per half cup. They are also packed with protein, fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Here’s a fun fact to impress your friends: almonds aren’t technically a nut. They are seeds of the almond tree. The more you know!
Black Strap Molasses – IE, the dark, viscous, syrupy remnants of extracting the sugar from raw sugar cane. This stuff is nutrient dense! One tablespoon contains 137mg of calcium. Plus, black strap molasses boasts other essential minerals like magnesium, which promotes superior absorption of calcium.
Tofu – Pressed, coagulated soy milk curds, aka tofu, are a great source of calcium for strong bones. This low-fat and heart-healthy food is a great alternative to eggs and meat. However, make sure to read the label before purchasing. You can get 20% of your calcium in just half a cup of tofu, but this value depends on the coagulating agent used during the production process. Tofu that is prepared with calcium sulfate will contain far more calcium than tofu made with nigari.
Chia Seeds – These seeds may be tiny, but they bring the calcium in a big way — three tablespoons roughly equal about 233mg of the bone-strengthening mineral. That’s almost as much as a cup of milk (299mg). You can them seeds to yogurt, smoothies or even use them in baking as an egg replacement. It’s no wonder humans have been using chia seeds as far back as 3500 BC!
Sesame Seeds – Here’s another small yet mighty seed whose calcium value exceeds that of milk! One-quarter cup of sesame seeds yields 351mg of calcium. These little guys are also high in zinc, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, and dietary fiber. When heat is added to the picture, up go the calcium levels. Amazingly, studies have shown that toasting one ounce of sesame seeds equals almost 27% of your daily recommended intake all on their own.