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11 Dairy-Free Calcium Sources

No Dairy? No Problem?

There's no doubt that calcium is essential, especially during pregnancy. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the body maintains a constant level of calcium in the body fluid to support the many body functions for which calcium is necessary, including muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction and expansion, the secretion of hormones and enzymes, and sending messages through the nervous system. That means it's needed to keep your heart beating and your muscles functioning, among other things. But the calcium in body fluids and muscles accounts for only about 1% of the total calcium in your body. The rest of it is stored in the bones and teeth, where it provides structural support and acts as a sort of "savings account" from which calcium is repeatedly withdrawn and deposited.

Although calcium intake is important throughout the life, during pregnancy the daily recommendation for calcium is 1,000 mg.

The most common way to get calcium is from milk and dairy products, but what if you're allergic (or averse) to dairy or lactose intolerant? What's a mom-to-be(or anyone) who doesn't drink milk to do?

Easy. Get calcium from any of the many other places it can be found. You can find calcium in many plant-based foods, from almonds to tofu. Here is a list of some calcium-containing foods that are dairy-free, with the amount of calcium you'll find in a single serving.

Food Serving Size Calcium
Collard greens 1 cup, boiled 357 mg
Fortified soymilk 1 cup 368 mg
Black-eyed peas 1 cup, boiled 211 mg
Firm tofu (made with calcium sulfate) 1/2 cup 204 mg
Calcium-fortified orange juice 6 oz 200 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1 Tbsp 172 mg
Baked beans 1 cup, canned 154 mg
Kale 1 cup, cooked 94 mg
Chinese cabbage 1 cup, raw
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About The Author

Liza Barnes
Liza received her bachelor's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati and is pursuing a master's degree in nurse midwifery. She is the proud mother of one daughter.
Liza Barnes Rothfuss

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