Did you know that there are plenty of non-dairy sources of calcium? There are many foods you can eat that are rich sources of calcium, including many seeds and nuts.
A constant supply of calcium is necessary throughout your lifetime, but is especially important during phases of growth, pregnancy, breast feeding and post-menopause. About 10-40% of dietary calcium is absorbed in the small intestine with the help of vitamin D. Factors that improve calcium absorption include adequate amounts of protein, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin D (get some sunshine). Conditions that reduce calcium absorption include digestive disturbances, the consumption of alcohol, coffee, sugar, some medications as well as chronic stress. Lack of weight bearing exercise can cause an increase in calcium losses, and a calcium deficiency can increase risk of bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, some people are intolerant to dairy products, one of the richest sources of dietary calcium. This following handy table will give you a good idea of the quantities of different foods you need to consume to obtain 300 mg of calcium. The food list is for foods high in calcium, yet low in calories. Post-menopausal women will benefit from consuming at least 4 to 5 serves of these foods daily in order to obtain sufficient calcium. (1200 – 1500mg).
250ml (one cup) cow’s milk
300 Calcium (mg)
|1 ¼ cups cooked spinach or other deep-green vegetable||300 mg|
|2 cups steamed broccoli||300 mg|
|200gr Tofu||300 mg|
|80gr soy milk powder||300 mg|
|1 small standard can of sardines||300 mg|
|300gr tin of salmon||300 mg|
|50gr whitebait||300 mg|
|110gr almonds||300 mg|
|25 gr unhulled sesame seeds (tahini) (one Tblsp)||300 mg|
|120gr parsley||300 mg|
|110gr dried figs||300 mg|
|50gr molasses||300 mg|
|80gr carob||300 mg|
|150gr Muesli (good commercial varieties)||300 mg|
© 2001 Eric Bakker. B.H.Sc. NDR.C.Hom