Calcium is one of the most important minerals. Since it is the most abundant mineral in the human body you need at least 1000mg of calcium per day. Unfortunately most people especially those who are lactose intolerant do not get enough calcium. Every year millions of people suffer from disorders such as osteoperosis rickets or bone thinning. Certainly give my article on non-dairy sources of calcium
. Leafy greens.
Fruits and vegetables.
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If you are lactose intolerant eating broccoli. Although you can only absorb about half of the calcium in broccoli which is still a significant amount.
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Consume leafy green vegetables such as spinach kale collard greens and chard which is another great source of calcium. However you have to eat a lot of them since you can only absorb about 5-10% of the calcium in these foods because of their oxalic acid content. Nevertheless these foods are highly nutritious and are an excellent source of calcium.
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Eat bony fish such as salmon and tuna. The bones in canned fish is so soft that you can easily eat them and a portion of the bony fish provides up to 30% percent of the daily recommended dose.
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Be sure to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables. Each fruit or vegetables contain an average of at least 2% of the daily recommended intake (DRI) of calcium. Eat 5-7 servings of fruits will give you about 10-15% of your daily calcium needs.
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Be sure to include nuts and whole grains in your diet. These also contain about 2-3% of DRI. Eating the recommended intake of whole grains and nuts can also give you plenty of calcium.
If worse comes to worse eat yogurt or put dairy products in baked. Most lactose intolerant people can tolerate yogurt and cooked dairy products in their baked goods. However I would do this as a last resort.
Nevertheless if all else fails consider taking a calcium supplement. Calcium supplements are extremely cheap and if you are a growing teen pregnant or nursing post-menopausal or an athlete who trains a lot so you need extra calcium.
Tips and Warnings
By simpling following non-dairy sections of the food pyramid you can get up to half of the calcium your needs from non-dairy sources. So make sure to eat vegetables nuts fish and vegetables.
Many foods such as cereals and juice is reinforced with calcium.
Oxalic acid causes the human body to absorb most of the calcium in foods. So watch out oxalic acid content of foods.
Do not take too much calcium because calcium toxicity though rare can happen. Taking more than 2 500 mg per day clacium puts you at risk for toxicity and be sure to take it with vitamin D.