10 Ways to Get Enough Calcium on a Dairy Free Diet

Steph Mork

Published on July 18th, 2016

Many people are opting for a dairy free diet these days to cut calories or settle tummy troubles. But how do we continue to build those strong bones everyday if we are skipping those 4 glasses of milk to reach the recommended daily amount of 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day?

The good news is that there are multiple everyday foods that contain a significant amount of calcium to supplement your diet and keep you strong and healthy.

Here are 10 things to eat and do to make sure you have enough calcium in your dairy free life:

1. Alternative Milk:

Most brands of soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk have been fortified with varying degrees of calcium. Almond milk generally has the most with about 450 mg in one cup. Soy comes in next with about 300 mg of calcium per cup, which is comparable to cow’s milk coming in at 300 mg per cup. That soy latte from Starbucks? That will give you about one third of your calcium for the day.

2. Vitamin D:

Getting enough vitamin D enhances calcium absorption. Use that as your excuse to take your lunch outside to catch some rays for about 20 minutes everyday for maximum calcium absorption.

3. Green Leafy Vegetables:

Spinach and kale are some of the world’s best superfoods, containing between 150-200 mg of calcium per one cup. Smoothies, stir fry, salads, pasta, the options are endless. Basically, eat your greens!

4. Broccoli:

This food wins for nutrient power. Full of fiber, vitamin C, A, K, folate and 75 mg of calcium in one cup, you should have a really good reason for not eating broccoli on the reg.

5. Nuts:

Almonds and Brazil nuts have the highest amounts of calcium when it comes to nuts. Go for almond butter instead of peanut butter or snack on a serving of Brazil nuts between meals for about 100 mg of calcium per ¼ cup serving of each.

6. Tofu:

Tofu is an easy add in to stir frys or salads and just 1 oz of tofu contains about 100 mg of calcium. It’s also relatively cheap as far as protein goes so it’s definitely a double win!

7. Oranges:

Surprisingly, this bright little citrus fruit packs in about 70 mg of calcium along with disease fighting vitamin C. Munch on these for a great morning snack or add them to a salad!

8. Fortified Grains:

Oatmeal may be one of the best things that has happened to breakfast. It packs in essential fiber, whole grains and a good deal of calcium. About 180 mg per cooked cup, in fact. Who knew?

9. Chia Seeds:

Chia wins the cool vote for being trendy. Packed with nutrients, just one oz of chia has 180 mg of calcium. It’s also a tasty addition to cereal or in a creamy chia pudding.

10. Calcium Fortified Foods:

Many foods are fortified with calcium, ranging from orange juice to breakfast cereal. The options are limitless. Check the nutritional label to see what percent of your daily value of calcium the given food contains in one serving and fill up on this bone-building mineral.

Calcium is necessary for maintaining bone health and regulating chemical reactions in the body. We can’t see these reactions taking place, but it is all the more important to maintain calcium levels to prevent osteoporosis and other health problems in the future.

So eat your greens, drink those soy lattes and get a 20 minute tan today to maximize your calcium without drinking 4 glasses of cow’s milk every day.