We all know we need calcium. But why do we need it? Quite simply, calcium, in partnership with various other vitamins and minerals, is required for each and every cell in our body to function. It is required for the smooth functioning of nervous system, muscle contraction, blood clotting, to help maintain a healthy heartbeat, secretion of hormones and enzymes, helps forms strong bones and teeth (about 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in bone and teeth). We also know that the most popular source of calcium is dairy. Although obtaining calcium from dairy might not be all it’s cracked up to be and this post goes into why and how this could be. So what non-dairy sources of calcium are there? Here are my favourite three, not necessarily the top 3 sources but they’re well up there with the best of them and they just happen to be three of my favourites:
Simply cut the leaves off the stems, massage the kale with some olive oil/coconut oil, add a pinch of salt n pepper. Pop them in the oven until crispy. Experiment with different flavours: cumin, curry etc
Tahini: teeny tiny sesame seeds…who would have thought that about 1/4 of a cup contains about 35% of your recommended daily amount of calcium? Dip raw vegetable sticks into tahini, use it as a spread on your favourite cracker, or make a tahini dressing by mixing it with a touch of water, lemon juice, sea salt and garlic.
Kale: studies* comparing the absorption rate of calcium from kale and dairy shows that absorption from kale was 40.9% compared to 32.1% from milk. Try lightly steamed kale, kale chips or massaged kale salad .
Carob: it is said that carob contains more calcium than an equal serving of yoghurt. Use it instead of chocolate to make brownies, make rawtella , hot chocolate carob or a nut milk shake .
What’s your favourite non-dairy source of calcium? Please share your recipes with us below!
* Heany Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption from kale. Am J Clin Nutr 1990; 51:656-657