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When we hear calcium, we all are probably imagining cows at pasture and a tall glass of cold milk. This is probably in large part to the popularity in recent decades of commercials talking about how the calcium in dairy products build strong bones. Unfortunately, people without access to dairy or who follow a vegan diet miss out on a large source of calcium. But this mineral is in so many products other than dairy—you just have to know where to look. Here are five sources of calcium that you might not expect.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green cruciferous vegetables are perfect for those who can’t eat dairy. In the United States, vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are excellent sources of calcium and are in abundance at markets everywhere. Add them as a side dish for dinner, or look up some inventive recipes for colorful, flavor-packed salads—greens don’t have to be boring!
Bread and Products with Fortified Flour
Any excuse to eat bread, right? Well here is a good one: most bread products and whole grain cereals contain a healthy dose of calcium when made with fortified flour. Look at the nutrition label to be sure, and stock up on whole grains. The complex carbohydrates will keep you energized and satisfied while providing a good amount of calcium to your diet.
Dry or Canned Beans
Beans are a flexible household staple that is vegan-friendly and loaded with nutrients. Whether dry or canned, beans can provide iron, protein, carbs, and calcium to a diet that is lacking. Try making a cold bean salad for any summer gathering or making it a point to add beans to chilis, stews, and side dishes for a big boost to your calcium intake.
Almonds, whether raw, roasted, slivered or otherwise are an incredible source of calcium and very versatile to eat. While not the biggest amount of calcium on the list, almonds contain a significant amount and are a great addition to trail mixes, salads, roasted chicken dishes, vegetables as a topping, or in a sandwich in the form of almond butter. Snacks and meals alike will be taken to the next level with this healthy and delicious nut!
Tofu, made from soy protein, is a huge staple in many kitchens today. Whether vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, tofu is a versatile product that is made by solidifying soy milk. Make sure the tofu you choose is fortified with calcium for the maximum benefit. Soy products typically contain a large amount of protein, amino acids, and calcium, just to name a few. It’s great for stir-fries, sandwiches in place of meat, salads, as cheese substitutes, or just a snack on its own. Cooked or raw, tofu is a healthy treat that takes on the flavors of the spices you add to it, which is why it can be used in such a wide range of dishes.
Support Your Body with Calcium
In addition to a strong skeletal system, calcium supports the contraction of muscles and aids in physical movement, as well as making sure blood clots normally.
Are you vegan or dairy sensitive and not sure if you are getting enough calcium? Consider adding the EZ Melts’ calcium supplement to your daily routine. Our vitamins are fast melting and have a delicious customer-approved flavor. Unlike many major vitamin brands, our tablets are vegan and do not include harmful ingredients, artificial flavors, or GMOs. Try us out and see the difference!
Written by Annie-Eliza Stevens