Dairy is not for everyone. There are people who may recoil if offered a glass of milk or a slice of cheese for a variety of reasons – and some people may actually get ill due to lactose intolerance if they eat dairy. But don’t you need the calcium in dairy to be healthy? While it’s true that you need calcium, dairy products aren’t the only way to get them. There are many foods that have the calcium of milk (or better) without the sugar.
Here are a few of the ways you can build strong bones and get calcium without ever touching a glass of milk.
Why You Need Calcium
More than likely, you’re familiar with calcium as a way to build strong and healthy bones, but it serves a lot of other purposes in your body as well. Calcium is needed for:
- Blood clotting
- Nerve signals
- Muscle contraction
Your body loses calcium every day through your sweat, your hair, your nails, your urine, and even your skin. This presents a problem because calcium is a mineral your body can’t make on its own – you have to eat it. This is exactly why getting enough calcium in your diet is important – it’s one of your body’s building blocks!
Let the Sunshine In
OK, so the sun isn’t going to magically transport calcium into your body, but the sunshine does help your body to produce Vitamin D, and this assists your body in absorbing calcium. All you have to do is go out in the sunshine for about 10 minutes just two or three times a week. Don’t forget the sunblock, though!
Lift It Up
How dense your bones are is directly related to not only your muscle mass but your muscle strength, too. So, get your cardio in but make sure to build in some resistance training, too. Planks, lunges, push-ups and bicep curls are a great place to start.
If you’re looking for a good source of calcium in your diet, look no further than leafy green vegetables. One cup of chopped kale, for example, has 101 milligrams of calcium. That’s a tenth of your recommended daily intake of calcium, if you’re keeping score.
Other great foods that are packed with calcium are:
- Collard greens
You can pair these with some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to add some Vitamin D and Vitamin K, too, since they help with calcium absorption.
Nuts are a great snack because they help to control your hunger with protein and have fiber. It turns out that they’re also a great way to get some calcium. Plus, they’ve got other minerals that support bone health such as zinc, manganese and magnesium.
As you can see, getting enough calcium without milk is pretty easy – and a great way to make sure you eat fresh veggies as a part of your diet.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.