09 Mar BOOSTING CALCIUM: THE NON-DAIRY APPROACH
Calcium is an important part of a healthy diet. This mineral plays a crucial role in: maintaining bone health, muscle contractions, nerve function, blood pressure stability, and healing.
Depending on your age, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium ranges from 800-1200 mg/day. As an example, cows milk contains 300 mg of calcium.
For those affected by milk allergies or lactose intolerance, the following are some options to keep your intake high:
|Tofu||350 mg||½ cup|
|Tapioca||300 mg||½ cup|
|Chia seeds||300 mg||1/5 ounces|
|Collard greens||210 mg||½ cup|
|Kale||200 mg||½ cup|
|Bok Choy||190 mg||½ cup|
|Almonds||93 mg||¼ cup|
|White beans||120 mg||½ cup|
|Sesame seeds||51 mg||1 Tbsp|
|Figs||135 mg||5 figs|
Maintaining bone health is more than just ingesting adequate calcium. Consuming excessive protein and sodium, for example, will increase calcium excretion in the urine. Excessive antacid use will also deplete calcium stores.
Ingesting calcium in food sources is important as calcium absorption is enhanced when other nutrients are metabolized at the same time. Vitamin D, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, and magnesium are all critical components of calcium metabolism and bone health. Absence of these other nutrients prevents adequate uptake of calcium into bones.
Here are some whole food ideas to get the most out of your calcium:
-Add legumes and beans to a chili or stew
-Mix tofu as well as kale and other greens into soups
-Top salads with broccoli, seaweed, almonds, and sunflower seeds
-Spread almond butter or hummus on whole grain or pita bread
Try the following recipe to boost your calcium intake, the non-dairy way:
Annika’s Favorite Rice Pudding
By: Amy Hugon
Kids with Food Allergies Website
Free of the Top 8
¾ cup uncooked rice
1 quart dairy-free milk alternative
½ cup maple syrup or ¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)
Fill large pot with water, and add rice. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.
Put rice back in pot. Add milk alternative and sweetener (either maple syrup or sugar). Return to medium-high heat, and stir occasionally. Allow to boil slowly, continuing to stir occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes until pudding thickens and darkens. Add raisins, if desired, and stir another 5 minutes or so.
Remove from heat. Add in vanilla and/or cinnamon, if desired.