Judith asks, “I have an allergy to dairy. How can I get enough calcium in my diet without eating dairy?”
Good question, Judith! Calcium is the most common mineral in the body and it supports skeletal integrity, dental health, as well as nerve conduction, heartbeat regulation, muscle contractions, and weight maintenance. To properly absorb and use calcium, the body needs sufficient amounts of other essential nutrients, specifically vitamins D and K. Many calcium-rich foods also contain these additional nutrients, getting calcium from natural sources is ideal. Be sure to ask your physician how much calcium you need each day.
Some examples of non-dairy foods that contain calcium:
Sardines - 325 mg per can (you can puree them with garlic and olive oil and put on toast, or a salad)
½ cup of almonds - 185 mg
½ cup of tofu - 434 mg
1 cup of soy milk - 300 mg
1 cup edamame - 98 mg
2 figs - 65 mg
1 orange - 55 mg
1 cup of rhubarb - 87 mg
1 cup cooked white beans - 161 mg
1 cup of kale has 179 mg
1 cup broccoli - 87 mg
1 cup of sunflower seeds kernels - 109 mg
1 Tbsp of sesame seeds - 88 mg
2 Tbsp of chia seeds - 179 mg
1 Tbsp of poppy seeds - 127 mg
1 large sweet potato - 68 mg
1 cup of butternut squash - 84 mg
Dairy is one of the most common allergies in both children and adults. The average person, including those that work in the food service industry, are not always aware that a dairy allergy can be just as deadly as other allergies, including nut allergies.
To prevent a reaction, it is very important that you avoid cow’s milk and cow’s milk products. Always read food labels and ask questions about ingredients before eating a food that you do not prepare yourself.