5 Best Sources Of Calcium Besides Milk

When discussing calcium in our diet, a lot of us tend to picture a tall glass of milk. But dairy products are not the only dietary source of the nutrient despite the strong association.

Here are five non-milk items to include in your diet for a calcium boost, helping you build stronger bones and teeth among other benefits.

1. Leafy vegetables

Many vegetables are loaded with calcium, particularly the dark, leafy greens. For example, nearly a quarter of your recommended daily intake can be found in a single cup of cooked collard greens which provides 268 mg of calcium.

Broccoli is not too far behind as a single cup can provide 180 milligrams of calcium, which is 18 percent of the recommended daily intake. Cooked kale of similar serving size packs in about 94 milligrams of the nutrient.

2. Tofu

While it is popularly considered as one of the best vegan sources of protein, even just half a cup of tofu can provide 861 mg of calcium. Made from soybean curds, it is also low in calories and naturally gluten-free, making it a perfect choice even for those who follow restricted diets.

"[Dietary pattern evidence] suggests that regular consumption of soy foods is likely to be useful for optimal bone health as an integral part of a dietary pattern that is built largely from whole plant foods," one study stated.

3. Seafood

Sardines can provide you with an important trinity of nutrients — omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium. With just a three-ounce serving, you consume up to 370 milligrams of calcium.

Salmon is another great option from the seafood section of the menu, packing a similar amount of calcium in a six-ounce serving. Canned salmon is also said to contain slightly more calcium than fresh salmon thanks to the bones.

4. Oranges

"Eating just one orange has over 70 milligrams of calcium, ensuring that you receive six percent of your calcium intake for the day, as well as a great boost of vitamin C, in just one snack," stated Frida Harju-Westman, a nutritionist at the health app Lifesum.

However, it is best consumed in its whole fruit form as with most fruits. The calcium content quite nosedives in the form of orange juice, estimated to contain 27 milligrams in a cup. 

5. Almonds

It should not be a surprise given how often this superfood shows up on nutrition-based lists. Apart from providing a healthy dose of protein, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and manganese, almonds also contain the highest amount of calcium compared to other nuts.

A single ounce of almonds (approximately 22 nuts) can cover 8 percent of the recommended daily calcium intake. However, make sure to watch your portion sizes. "All almond products, except boxed almond milk, are dense," notes registered dietitian Lauren Slayton.