We have all heard that we all need calcium for strong, healthy bones. But did you know that calcium is also responsible for muscle and nerve function as well as enabling our blood to clot normally? Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, and women have an increased risk with age. We tend to think, however, that getting the proper amount of calcium requires the recommended three glasses of a dairy product daily. Most of us are not drinking three glasses of milk in a week, much less a day! I know people who are allergic to dairy; they surely cannot drink that much milk. In reality, though, we can get calcium from many other non-dairy sources.
In case you are allergic to dairy or you, like me, outgrew your desire to drink that much milk a few decades ago, here are a few foods that may interest you.
Non-Dairy Milks. Soy, rice, and nut milks also provide calcium. Keep in mind that in addition to drinking the milk, you can also cook with it and still get the much needed calcium.
Kale. There’s a reason it’s called a superfood. It’s full of so many nutrients… including calcium. One cup of kale will meet 10 percent of the daily requirement.
Bok Choy. I’m thrilled to see Bok Choy on the list because we had a garden full of it last season. One cup of shredded Bok Choy will give you 15 percent of the daily requirement. Maybe we should plant Bok Choy again? Hmmm…
Broccoli. Broccoli is one of my all time favorite veggies. It’s full of lots of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. One cup of chopped broccoli will provide you with 5 percent of the daily requirement. Oh, eat two cups worth! Make it 10 percent at dinner alone!
Spinach. Here’s another one of my favorites. It tastes great no matter how it’s cooked and it’s full of nutrients. One cup of this dark leafy veggie amounts to 25 percent of the daily requirement! I’m happy to say that we do have spinach seeds planted in our spring garden.
How do you get your calcium?
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