Cutting back on dairy? You can skip cheese, milk, and yogurt and still get enough calcium. Greens, beans, nuts, fish, and fruit are all calcium-rich and power-packed with fiber and other nutrients. According to the Mayo Clinic, women need about 1,000 mg of calcium daily during the ages of 19-50; 1200 mg per day at 51 and older. For men, their bodies need about 1,000 mg of calcium daily from the ages of 19-70; 1200 mg per day at 71 and older.
These 5 foods are rich in calcium and easy to toss in your lunch cooler...
Try nutrient-rich dark, leafy greens like spinach, collards, and mustard greens. You don’t have to eat a huge portion to get your RDA. Typically, greens are an efficient food and have high absorption rates of over 50%. One cup of cooked collards can deliver over 300 mg of calcium—that’s almost one-third of what you need! Toss leafy greens in soups, salads, and smoothies.
Beans are packed with fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and protein. A cup of cooked great northern beans or vegetarian baked beans provides 125-150 mg of calcium. Try topping your salad with chickpeas for 80 mg.
Figs are richer in calcium than other dried fruits. They are also full of fiber, potassium and vitamin K. Eat them for a snack or add to a smoothie for extra creaminess.
Walnuts and cashews have health benefits, but if calcium is what you need, go with almonds. 22 nuts deliver 75 mg of calcium. They are also full of fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.
A can of sardines gives you up to 35% of your daily calcium, all thanks to the edible bones. Sardines are an oily fish, so you also get a dose of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Perfect for lunch.
Try one of all of these calcium-rich foods, if you don't eat them already. Experiment with different ways of incorporating them into your daily meals, make it fun for yourself.