Non-dairy rich calcium sources:Calcium is an essential mineral for our health and milk is a primary source of it. Since childhood, we are forced to drink a glass of milk daily as it is loaded with calcium which keeps our bones and teeth stronger. It is also required for muscle function and nerve signalling. But what if you are not a fan of milk or are lactose intolerant?
Worry not. You can still get your daily dose of calcium by adding some seeds and veggies in your diet that are loaded with this mineral. Taking to her Instagram handle, celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija recently shared a video where she talked about five non-dairy alternatives of calcium that you can add to your diet.
The daily recommended amount of calcium:The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is 1,000 mg per day for most adults. Women over 50 require a little more than normal up to 1,200 mg per day, while children aged 4–18 are advised to consume 1,300 mg. 250 ml of milk, that is one glass of milk provides you 300 mg of calcium.
Chia seeds:Just 45 grams of chia seed daily can provide you with the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk. This can keep your bones, teeth and nails healthy. Chia seeds are also loaded with fiber and protein which helps keep you a fuller longer time. The high-quality protein in it can help in muscle growth. Mix it in your smoothie or make pudding to increase its intake.
Sesame seeds:The tiny sesame seeds, black or white both are loaded with calcium. They are also excellent sources of manganese, zinc and copper. Just 30 grams of sesame seeds can provide you with 300 mg of calcium. Adding it daily to your salad or smoothie can reduce the risk of knee osteoarthritis. Besides, they can also help to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and decrease the level of cholesterol.
Poppy seeds:Poppy seeds are particularly rich in manganese and calcium. 20 grams of these tiny seeds can provide you with 300mg of calcium. These seeds are also rich in protein and copper. Having poppy porridge or poppy hawala daily can help your body utilize amino acids, fats, and carbs and also keep your bones healthy.
Leafy greens:Dark, leafy greens are also an incredible source of calcium. Methi leaves, moringa leaves and kale particularly are high in calcium content and can be a part of your daily diet. Just 150 to 200 grams of these green leaves can provide you with a sufficient amount of calcium. Besides, they are rich in iron, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
Ragi or Finger millet:100 grams of ragi or finger millet can offer more than 300 mg of calcium. This variety of millet is also rich in potassium which helps to maintain blood pressure levels. Being exceptionally rich in iron, ragi can help our body to produce haemoglobin. Studies suggest that this millet is also beneficial for people suffering from diabetes as it does not spike the blood sugar level.
The bottom line:Some other great sources of calcium include kidney beans, dry moringa, almonds, figs, tofu, broccoli, sweet potato, sunflower seeds, ladyfingers and oranges. Pooja also recommends you to fill your plate with colourful foods to meet your daily nutrient requirements.