We all know you can get calcium from products like milk, cheese and yoghurt, but what if you don’t eat dairy? Never fear – you can also increase your intake by choosing the following foods.
Non-dairy foods rich in calcium
Try sardines on toast for a tasty lunch option, or flake them and mix with cream cheese, lemon juice and plenty of black pepper for an easy pâté.
2. Cannellini and butter beans
Simply add a tin of cannellini or butter beans to your next hearty soup or stew. Althernatively, try mashing beans with garlic and lemon juice for a delicious alternative to mashed potato that’s high in fibre and protein, or try this tasty spaghetti with “beanballs”.
3. Almonds or almond milk
Enjoy a small handful of almonds as a snack, or enjoy almond milk in your coffee.
4. Tinned salmon
Use tinned salmon to make fishcakes for dinner, or flake into pesto pasta for an easy midweek lunch.
5. Dried figs
Rehydrate dried figs and use in smoothies, in your morning porridge, as a snack or to make jam… or try these calcium-packed chocolate truffles.
6. Dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale
A so-simple way to increase your calcium intake is to add a handful of dark leafy greens to every meal.
7. Sesame seeds
Add sesame seeds to homemade breads, sprinkle over Asian dishes or toss into a salad. Use tahini (sesame seed paste) to make hummus or salad dressings.
Make sure broccoli is part of your regular dinner rotation, or allow roasted broccoli to cool, toss with lemon juice and add to your lunchbox.
Include oranges in your diet as a regular snack.
You can buy dried seaweed in flaked or powdered forms. Try adding the powder to your next savoury bake in place of salt, or mix the flakes with olive oil to make a healthy dip for bread or crackers. Alternatively, eat more sushi, which is wrapped in nori!
Why do we need calcium?
Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. It helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones. A good level of calcium in the body over a lifetime can help prevent osteoporosis, or brittle bones.
Calcium helps your body with:
- Building strong bones and teeth
- Clotting blood
- Sending and receiving nerve signals
- Squeezing and relaxing muscles
- Releasing hormones and other chemicals
- Keeping a normal heartbeat
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