“How do you manage for calcium with no milk products?” asked several of my friends when I was following a three week vegan cleansing diet.
The question surprised me. I have never liked milk, don’t digest it well, and didn’t miss drinking it at all during my vegan phase.
That doesn’t mean I have to ingest a large calcium supplement the size of a horse pill in order to take in enough calcium. There are plenty of milk-free ways to get adequate calcium in your diet.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, according to the National Institutes of Health. 99 percent of the body’s calcium is stored in bones and teeth for structural support.
To make sure we get enough of it, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has developed Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for calcium: an average adult needs 1,000 mg–1,300 mg of calcium daily. This number is slightly higher for lactating and pregnant women.
You probably think of Chinese cabbage, collard greens, maybe almonds, in terms of non-dairy sources of calcium, but there are many more. Here are just 10, for starters:
Black Eyed Peas: Not only are black eyed peas a good source of calcium, these little beans also contain potassium, folate and other nutrients.
First Photo: thinkstock; second photo: Maddog 20/20
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