Become a Contributor

Non-dairy Calcium-rich Food

Non-dairy Calcium-rich Food

Milk and dairy products are not the only food options that contain calcium in high percentage. People who are allergic to milk should make an effort to identify non-dairy calcium-rich foods, and include them in their daily diet.
NutriNeat Staff
Calcium is crucial for maintaining the optimal health of bones and teeth. It plays a major role in muscle functioning, blood clotting, and enzyme activities. When there is a lack of calcium in the dietary intake, the body cells tend to draw out calcium from the bones, resulting in weak bone density. Under such cases, there is an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone breakage. To avoid these medical problems, everyone should include the recommended dietary allowance of calcium via food and supplements.

Calcium Intake Recommendations

The daily requirement of calcium mineral for specific age groups are given below.
  • Babies (7-12 months old): 260 mg calcium per day
  • Infants of age group 1-3 years: 700 mg calcium per day
  • Children between 4-8 years old: 1000 mg calcium per day
  • Children between 9-13 years old: 1300 mg calcium per day
  • Teenagers between 14-18 years old: 1300 mg calcium per day
  • Teens and adults between 19-50 years old: 1000 mg calcium per day
  • Adults above 50 years: 1200 mg calcium per day
  • Women after menopause: 1500 mg calcium per day
Non-dairy Food Products Rich in Calcium

Milk and dairy products are no doubt some of the richest sources for calcium. Serving one cup of cow's milk is equivalent to providing 300 mg of calcium. While including dairy food is not an issue for many people, some have allergic responses to milk-based food items. Also, vegans do not use dairy-based food. For them, the solution to getting sufficient calcium is to identify other calcium-containing food sources. Some non-dairy eatables contain more calcium than milk and milk-based food. Here are the top non-dairy food items having high amounts of calcium.

There is hardly any food item that matches the calcium content of seaweed. Serving one cup each of wakame powder and kombu powder provides 3,500 mg calcium and 2,100 mg calcium respectively. One can use them in seaweed salads, or as dried herbs in cooking stir fry dishes.

Almonds, along with other seeds and nuts, like walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds contain high amounts of calcium. It is found that having one cup of almonds yield 750 mg of calcium, while the same amount of whole sesame seeds gives 2,100 mg calcium.

Seafood is included in the list of non-dairy calcium-rich food. In 1 cup of sardines having bones, the amount of calcium content is 1,000 mg; and 1 cup mackerel with bones gives 600 mg calcium. Other examples of seafood with high calcium contents are oysters, salmon, and shrimp.

Whole Grains
Talk about healthy food, and you cannot exclude whole grains. Yes, some cereals (quinoa, rye, cornmeal) are rich in calcium. Also, you will get breakfast cereals fortified with calcium in the market. They contain approximately 100-1,000 mg calcium per serving amount.

Leafy Vegetables
Some green leafy vegetables high in calcium are kale, turnip greens, collards, broccoli, parsley, bok choy, and spinach. Choose veggies that contain low oxalate (e.g. kale, broccoli, collards), or else, the absorption rate of calcium is reduced.

Black Strap Molasses
This is the sugary syrup that remains behind during the processing of sugar. Black strap molasses is the darkest syrup, and has the thickest consistency. Serving one tablespoon of this syrup supplies 176 mg calcium. In addition, it gives potassium, iron, and other essential minerals.

Some Fruits
Serving two figs supplies the body with 50 mg calcium mineral. In other words, 50 g of dried figs contain 125 mg calcium. Rich in sugar and dietary fiber, they can be eaten raw or in dried forms. Figs are also beneficial for providing iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and copper.

Soybeans are not only rich in proteins, but they are a storehouse for several other nutrients. They contain healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals (calcium, iron). They can be soaked overnight and consumed like other dried legumes. To reap the health benefits of soybeans, one can opt for soy milk and related products.

Sprouts, peas, and beans are other food choices for getting calcium. Serving 1 cup of dried tapioca yields the same amount of calcium as that of milk, i.e., 300 mg. Others included in the list of non-dairy calcium-rich food are calcium fortified orange juice, tofu, breakfast drink, rice milk.

This was a list of calcium-rich food that are not related to milk and milk products. A simple tip is to plan a diet properly and include varieties of fruits, green vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish and calcium fortified food. These food items are also the base for planning a healthy diet. So, include them and enjoy their nutritional benefits to stay healthy.