Dairy products are a great source of protein and calcium, however, they do not agree with everyone’s body. Additionally, there is always an ongoing debate on how much dairy you should be eating on a given day.
Why is calcium so important?
Your body stores calcium in your bones and teeth. Because of this, calcium plays a driving role in ensuring your bones stay strong and healthy.
Calcium also plays a role in powering your heart and nerve function. As you age your body will become increasingly dependent on calcium to lessen the development of osteoporosis.
What are good sources of calcium?
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all top-notch sources of calcium, but they are not for everyone.
However, there are great non-dairy sources of calcium that you can try adding to your diet (source: Mayo Clinic).
- Cooked broccoli
- Fortified milk – including soy, almond, and rice milk
- Fortified cereals – many include added calcium
What are fortified foods?
Fortified foods are those that have extra nutrients added that are not naturally present in the food.
This is in contrast to enriched foods which are those that lose nutrients during the manufacturing process and had them added back in afterward.
It’s worth noting that fortified foods should not be your exclusive source of calcium. You should diversify your diet with foods that contain calcium (like kale) as well as fortified foods.
Without dairy, there are limited options when it comes to calcium consumption and keeping your bones strong. However, taking advantage of the options available to you will make your heart and bones all the better!