How Can I Get Enough Calcium If I Don’t Drink Milk?

There is there horrible thought out there in nutrition world that if you don’t drink milk, then there is no way that you’ll ever get enough calcium in your diet.

And if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, then you’re setting yourself up for osteoporosis, broken bones, fractures and that dreaded “humped” over slouch as you get older.

But it’s all wrong!

You are not relegated to a life of bad bones if you stop drinking milk or stop having dairy products in your diet.  Period.  End of story.

I personally have not included milk in my diet for years.  This was a personal decision because dairy just sends my sinuses into a very bad place every single winter and I was tired of dealing with sinus infections.  But this is just me.

When I actually told someone about my decision, I got the question.

But if you don’t drink milk, then where are you going to get your calcium from?  Don’t you know how important calcium is for your bones?

I politely answered that yes, I do know how important calcium is and not to worry, I get plenty of calcium from other foods.

So where did I turn in order to make sure that I got enough calcium?

Here is a small list of “alternative” calcium sources:

  • Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, collard greens or bok choy
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Some fruits, such as figs, raisins or papaya
  • Some fish, such as salmon or sardines with the bones in

It turns out that a lot of foods do contain calcium.  That’s the good news when you decide that maybe milk or other dairy products aren’t working for you or if you decide that you’d like a change of pace.

When you consider the above foods and their role in giving you your calcium, there is also something else that you need to take into account.

These foods are also excellent sources of so many other vitamins, minerals and nutrients as well.

Think of it as an added nutritional bonus.  You get calcium plus a little something extra!

Let’s take Kale for example.  Kale is one of my personal favorite leafy greens. Easy to prepare, tastes good and is a powerhouse of nutrition.

In 1 cup of cooked (boiled) kale, you will find approximately 36 calories and more than 50% of your RDA for vitamins K, A and C.  Kale is also an excellent source of manganese, calcium and fiber, amongst other nutrients including a small amount of your Omega 3 fatty acids.

My point here being that even though a food item like milk may be easy to serve and gives you calcium at the same time, it is not the only option.

Exercise your right for variety.  Test out different foods and see which ones your body responds to.

Dairy products are not bad or ineffective but sometimes they work better for some people and not as well for others.

If they work for you, then enjoy!

If not, then experiment.

It really is that easy.

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