Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to drink milk or eat cheese and yogurt to get your calcium. For some people, the choice to avoid dairy is medical.
How Much Calcium Do We Need?
Current calcium recommendation by age:
Infant 0-6 mos – 200mg/d; 6-12 mos – 260mg/d.
Children 1-3 yo - 700mg/d; 4-8yo – 1,000mg/d; 9-18yo 1,300mg/d.
Adult 19-50yo – 1,000mg/d; more if female older than 50 and male older than 70.
One cup of cow’s milk has about 296 mg. Below is a list of 15 non dairy sources of calcium that comes close to the calcium content of cow’s milk:
One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg.
One tablespoon has about 137 mg.
Two ounces of Brazil nuts (12 nuts) have 90 mg.
Two cups of boiled broccoli have 124 mg.
Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg.
A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg.
Two tablespoons of flax seeds have 52 mg.
One cup of boiled kale has 94 mg.
One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg.
One medium orange has 52 mg.
One medium papaya has 73 mg.
A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg calcium.
A cup of boiled spinach has 245 mg.
One cup of boiled chard has 102 mg.
Two tablespoons of raw tahini (sesame seed butter) have 126 mg.
The goal is to eat a healthy diet with a variety of dark green leafy veggies, various types of fruit, nuts, and seeds. You’ll not only benefit from the calcium, but the rich sources of antioxidants in these foods.