When you find out that you are intolerant to milk or just dairy in general, it can be frustrating to take a look at your diet and wonder how you’re going to get enough calcium into it. After all, isn’t this important mineral hard to find in other sources? Sure, it’s most commonly found in dairy sources, but there are plenty of other non-dairy products you can rely on to make sure that you have enough of it in your diet.
Calcium dense foods
Here, you’ll find some of the best calcium supplements. Not only are these great for their high levels of calcium, but they’re also wonderful adding into recipes or adding to your dinner plate as a little something extra for the health benefits.
• Canned sardines or shrimp: Both of these easy to find foods can be added to stir-fry recipes or simply added to salads, and they’ll be able to give you a kick in calcium. It is important that you look for those that include bones (where applicable and that they are canned in oil (again, where applicable). This will give the most calcium bang for your buck!
• Alternative milk and juices: From soy milk to almond milk to orange juice, you can find all sorts of drinks that are fortified with calcium itself in order to offer you a little boost in your meals or when you just need something to drink. Make sure you check the label to see that it is actually fortified with calcium, as not all are.
• Greens: Whether these are turnip greens, kale, broccoli, or cabbage, green vegetables are going to be able to offer you rich calcium. They can be eaten cooked or raw. When you are looking at the best minerals and vitamins, it’s best to look at steaming vegetables, as this maintains the most nutrients through cooking.
• Beans: Whether they’re kidney beans, soybeans, or others, these are delicious additions to stews, soups, chilis, and more. They’re also very rich in calcium.
Approaching your diet
Now that you have some great foods and drinks to add to your diet, it’s important to take a look at the changes you may need to make to remove dairy out of it. You’ll want to avoid the use of milk and cheese, of course, but this not only includes straight-up use, but it also includes baking and cooking. When a recipe calls for a cup of milk, substitute it with almond milk (fortified if possible), etc.
You’ll also want to take a look at “hidden” sources of milk. These could include salad dressings, many desserts, drinks, sauces, and more. Milk and dairy products can often be hidden where you’d never think to check.
Taking dairy out of your diet can take some work and effort, but it certainly isn’t impossible when you rely on the right substitutions and suggestions to help you make the most of it. Living dairy-free may mean a change, but dealing with calcium deficiency doesn’t have to be your new reality.