Super Clean Fast Food
People are automatically programmed to assume we need milk and cheese in our diet to get our daily calcium. This is an idea that has been engrained in our brains since childhood with our mothers telling us to “drink our milk if we want to grow big and strong”. There has been a widespread switch from dairy, and not just for those who are lactose-intolerant or perhaps choosing a vegan lifestyle. Some are choosing an almond milk latte instead of their usual cap, with the wish to reduce their exposure to additives and hormones found in milk. Another reason, studies show that dairy products can be highly acidic and the body prefers to remain within an alkaline pH, therefore the body will pull calcium from your bones to neutralise the acidity and regulate the pH levels. Population research has shown that countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures also have the largest consumption of dairy products. Adults should aim to consume 1000mg of calcium per day and as for vitamin D, going outside daily for 20-30 minutes (keep your skin tone in mind) and you’ll be getting adequate amounts or, can always supplement a little extra. Although that may seem like a lofty goal to reach, these unexpected sources of calcium will change your view and show how easy it is to add a little extra with every meal!
There are the various milk substitutes ranging from rice and soy to widespread types of nut/seed milks such as almond, cashew, coconut, hazelnut, Brazil, hemp, and sunflower to name a few. These are all excellent alternatives to cow’s milk and all have a variety of nutritional benefits.
You might be sick of hearing of this super-food but there’s a reason it’s such a hit. It has 188mg of calcium in two cups (raw/chopped).It is the ideal base for all your summer salads!
Arugula or Rocket
Arugula or Rocket is another leafy powerhouse with 60mg per two cups. This peppery green has very few calories and heaps of flavour so it’s great to help in maintaining a healthy weight without sacrificing great taste. Bonus: it has natural cooling properties on the body, perfect for warm weather picnics.
Broccoli has 80mg per two cups and is great when tossed on the bbq or pack it in your lunch for raw veggies and dip.
A source that might surprise you is sesame seeds. Just tablespoon has 90mg of calcium so sprinkle those little babies on everything! Sautéed spinach and salads are the perfect vessel or try incorporating them into your baking by topping your muffins with them!
What’s better than a sweet, bright orange for a snack? This citrus has a 60mg serving of calcium in a medium sized orange and we can’t forget 67% of the recommended daily of vitamin C.
Soy is a versatile product that is a great addition to your diet. From edamame with 98mg of calcium per cup to soy milk with 300mg per cup and it always contains more protein than regular milk. And we can’t forget tofu: a whopping 861mg of calcium in 1/2cup! While some people are terrified of tofu, it’s a great way to add protein without adding fat to any meal.
A fibre rich addition that’ll pump up any meal are black-eyed peas (No Fergie included). In a 1/2 cup serving there is 185mg of calcium. There are chock full of potassium and protein,as well as being low in fat, making them a welcome addition to soups and stews.
Now that you have an idea of what items are great additions to your diet, remember to try and minimize your consumption of calcium depleting substances such as caffeine, alcohol, salt, soft drinks, and animal protein.