Natural Dairy Free Sources of Calcium
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is necessary to support many vital functions in maintaining our family’s health, including:
- building and maintaining strong bones and teeth
- regulating healthy blood vessels, blood pressure, muscle contractions, including heartbeat and ensuring blood clots normally
- essential metabolic functions
- nerve transmission and hormone discharging
- preventing insulin resistance that could lead to Type 2 diabetes.
When aiming to include this important mineral into our diet many often rely on highly processed hydrogenated dairy products, milk, yoghurt and cheese, as well synthetic dietary supplements and artificially fortified foods, such as cereals. The good news is that calcium benefits can be obtained through wide ranging healthy natural organic foods, certain leafy greens, seafood, legumes, fruit, seeds are good sources.
Our list of lovely natural calcium providing foods, no cows, supplements or artificial fortification required:
1. Chia Seeds:
These amazing gluten and grain free tiny seeds are a fantastic source of calcium and omega-3, are high in antioxidants, fibre, protein, fat as well as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, Vitamins B3, B1, B2 and Potassium. One tablespoon of Chia Seeds goes a long way, with its health benefits it makes an ideal breakfast or desert option.
2. Tinned fish (when bones are eaten – as the bones provide calcium)
Tinned Sardines, Salmon and Pilchards provide a good dose of omega 3’s, vitamin D along with calcium. Tinned varieties are beneficial due to the softened bones that provide the calcium benefits. They make a fab quick lunch teamed with avocado and flax seed crackers or try Paleo fishcakes.
3. Green leafy vegetables
Kale, cabbage, broccoli, bok choi and even turnip greens. Saute turnip greens from turnip bulbs( a good source of calcium, antioxidants and folate) and top with garlic and olive oil as a side dish. Kale crisps make a crunchy snack option and bok Choi (provides vitamins A and C, along with calcium and fibre) can be stir-fried quickly for a perfect side dish.
Creamy and light White Beans and a great source of calcium and iron or black-eyed Peas provide calcium, potassium, folate. Beans make a lovely side dish topped with butter, sea salt and minced garlic.
Seaweed is a another good source of calcium, as well as fibre and iodine. Ideal in noodle broth soup dishes or even cut up into fun child friendly snacks for kids to make their own mini wraps with.
6. Dried Figs
When in need of a sweet treat, this dried fruit delivers on sweetness and an antioxidant, fibre and calcium combo. Eat chopped with nuts as a healthy mid afternoon snack to beat this energy low time.
7. Sesame Seeds:
These unassuming seeds can help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and may even have antic-carcinogenic properties. Sprinkle generously on sauteed green leaf dishes and on top of your salads.
Almonds are a nutritionally dense nut rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin E and iron. Try making your own healthy nut butter or add sprouted almonds to your breakfast.
9. Oranges provide vitamin C and moderate calcium, making it a great snack or add slices to your meal salad.