How to get calcium if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan

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by Serisha Singh

Try these tips to get calcium if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan or simply just not a fan of dairy products.

The recommended daily allowance of calcium for adults is between 1 000 and 1 200 mg. Women need the upper recommended level of calcium, as they are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

If you’re lactose intolerant, or vegan, meeting these requirements can be difficult, but help is at hand!

Eating beans and lentils is a great way to get calcium

Beans and other legumes are high in calcium and protein, making them excellent for vegans. Baked beans are particularly high in calcium. One cup of baked beans contains 154mg calcium.

Opt for calcium-fortified food

Calcium-fortified soya milk, almond milk, rice milk, orange juice, cranberry juice, breakfast cereals and breakfast bars are available at several supermarkets and health shops. One cup of calcium-fortified soya milk has nearly 300mg of calcium.

Go for greens

Spinach, broccoli, kale and other dark green leafy vegetables are high in calcium, providing about 100mg of calcium per serving. Try adding these to salads and sandwiches.

Eat your oats

A cup of cooked oats provides about 150mg of calcium. Try eating this for breakfast at least twice or week or consider making oat crunchies as a tasty snack.

Say yes to salmon

We all know salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also a great source of calcium. 85 grams of canned salmon contains 181mg calcium.

Go nuts for nuts

Almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and walnuts are all high in calcium. In fact 100 grams of Brazil nuts contains 160mg of calcium. So opt for nuts as a crunchy snack.

There are also other habits you can adopt to ensure you get calcium if you’re lactose intolerant:

  • Cut down on soft drinks as they raise the phosphate level in your blood, thus preventing calcium absorption
  • Sit in the sun and boost your vitamin D levels. This helps your body absorb calcium.

And there you have it, ways to get calcium if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan or for any reason avoiding dairy produce.

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