Whether it’s due to allergies, sensitivities or simply taste, elimination diets are on the rise lately, and the dairy category is not exempt from this practice. And yet, the calcium we are used to getting from dairy is vital to our health.

Calcium is important for:

• Bone health, as 99% of calcium is stored in our bones and teeth
• Heart health, since calcium keeps your heart pumping
• Nerves, since calcium sends signals to tell your muscles to keep moving
• Preventing osteoporosis

Women under age 50 and men under age 71 need 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and that even jumps up to 1,200 if you are over these ages, respectively.

So how do you get enough calcium in your body if you are on a dairy-free diet?
If you need to skip the yogurt and cheese, the following foods can help keep your calcium on track!

Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium

1) Canned fish – salmon, sardines
2) Fortified soy, almond, rice milks
3) Fortified orange juice
4) Tofu
5) Fortified cereals, amaranth
6) Dark greens – kale, mustard, collard, arugula, bok choy
7) Certain vegetables – edamame, broccoli rabe, broccoli, sweet potatoes, okra, squash
8) Seeds – Chia, sunflower, sesame
9) Almonds
10) Dried figs
11) White beans
12) Lentils

So whether you’ve cut dairy for health or taste reasons, rest assured that our Registered Dietitians here at Nutrition Link Services can help plan your healthy, calcium-rich menu anyway!