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Bone Health : Dairy-Free Diet? Be Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium



If you have a milk allergy, a top concern is getting enough calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Calcium is also essential for healthy teeth and ensures your muscles, nerves, and cells work properly. Adults need about 1,000 mg per day, and kids need from 700 to 1,300 mg a day depending on age.

The good news is lots of non-dairy foods are rich in calcium. Collard greens, broccoli, spinach, and kale are all excellent choices. When it comes to fruit, rhubarb, figs, and oranges contain calcium.

Even fish can be a source of calcium. As long as you don't have an allergy, incorporate sardines, tuna, and canned salmon into your diet. Half a can of salmon provides 44 percent of your daily calcium needs, plus a whopping 38 grams of protein!

Calcium can also be obtained from nuts and legumes. Almonds, pinto beans, and white beans are good sources. Grab a handful of almonds as a snack, and add beans to soups, salads, rice, and other dishes.

Finally, if you're able to tolerate soy, tofu, soymilk, and edamame are all excellent sources of calcium. Tofu is incredibly versatile -- it takes on the flavors of what it's cooked with, so it's easy to work it into your family's favorite dishes.
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