For the less experimental, there are other ways to get your calcium sans dairy. (Though I’m not vegan, I have found that reducing my consumption of cow’s milk has lent to a general feeling of overall wellness, including clearer skin and easier digestion.)
Calcium-Rich, Non-Dairy Foods
1. Fortified beverages like O.J and soymilk. A six oz. serving of calcium fortified orange juice can provide as much as 20-25 percent of your daily value (DV). An eight oz. cup of soymilk can contain as much as 50 percent of your DV. Make sure to check the labels as different brands can vary in their nutritional content!
My tasty tip: Avoid the brands with added sugars. I always opt for unsweetened soymilk to shave out the hidden calories!
2. Steamed or sautéed greens. Turnip greens, kale and spinach pack the greatest calcium punch. Try not to overcook to avoid losing the nutrients.
My tasty tip: Spice it up with some minced garlic. Garlic is loaded with anti-oxidants and anti-viral properties.
3. Salmon — canned, that is. Wild caught salmon is great for all of its omegas but three ounces of canned salmon locks in 18 percent of your DV of calcium. The trick? Eating the bones. The canning process softens them up making them more edible and palatable.
My tasty tip: Look for brands championing wild, sustainable harvesting. Enjoy the salmon perched atop wholesome crackers with mustard and avocado or atop a salad of organic mixed greens and local raw veggies.
4. Raw broccoli. A half-cup serves up two percent of your DV.
My tasty tip: Dress it up or dip in an organic dressing like vegan tahini and lemon-based Annie’s Naturals Goddess dressing.
5. Tofu. It contains 20 percent of your DV! The versatile meat substitute can be prepared to sate any taste preference.
My tasty tip: Try to seek out the least processed, preservative containing variety.
By Jessica Root, Planet Green