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Where to get calcium if you’re ‘dairy-free’

Other sources of dietary calcium

Dairy products provide calcium which, as we learn from childhood, is essential for strong bones and teeth. But even if you are cutting back or cutting dairy from your diet, there are a variety of other foods providing sufficient amounts for bone and dental health.

Vegetables & leafy greens

Eating a range of vegies and greens provides large amounts of quality calcium together with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots, kale and sweet potato all rate well. Get creative with stir-frying or salads!

Fruit

Some dried fruits such as raisins and figs contain some, as do oranges. Look look for fortified orange juice brands meaning calcium (and sometimes Vit D) have been added to them to boost their nutritional value.

Grains

Grains providing essential amino acids also provide calcium. Look to whole grains: brown rice, whole wheat bread and rice ‘milk’.

Legumes

Rich in amino acids for building protein, legumes are also a great source. Consider chickpeas, lentils, white beans, black and kidney beans for a start! (….and don’t forget the humble baked beans) Chickpeas and lentils go well in curries, and making your own baked beans is particularly rewarding.

Your body’s demands can be met by eating a variety of these nutrient-dense foods. There is likely no need for supplements if your diet contains a healthy amount of these calcium-rich foods.

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