I apologize for the delay in posts (one whole week!). When my husband’s back started to heal up I started coming down with a bug that I am still in the process of fighting off. I hope to be back to more regular posting soon.

We have always been told that dairy is a necessary part of our diet in order to take in adequate calcium. The same people who drill this into our heads also tell us that we should eat dairy that has been pasteurized and skimmed – both processes that drastically decrease the amount of calcium you are able to absorb.

The problem is most commercial dairy is difficult to digest and can even create severe reactions for some individuals. I do believe that raw dairy is an incredibly healthy food, but not everyone can tolerate it. Others avoid it for periods of time in order to heal their guts from years of abuse.

I took my toddler off of raw milk a couple of weeks ago in order to encourage healing in his gut. The first thing my husband asked when I brought this up was “Is he going to be getting enough calcium?” A great question, and one I had to do some research on.

After researching I found that certain foods we were already eating and therefore worked well for our family:

  • homemade chicken stock
  • lots of greens
  • almonds
  • almond butter
  • sunflower seeds
  • canned wild salmon with the bones
  • coconut milk tonic with dolomite powder for added calcium

Non-Dairy Calcium Sources

Point of reference: 1 cup of milk contains approximately 300 mg of calcium

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs)
Children 1-3 years 500 mg/day
Children 4-8 years 800 mg/day
Pregnant and lactating <18 years 1300 mg/day
Males and females 9-18 years 1300 mg/day
Males and females 19-50 years 1000 mg/day
Pregnant and lactating >18 years 1000 mg/day
Males and females >50 1200 mg/day
Vegetables – per 1 cup serving
Bok choy, cooked 330 mg
Bean sprouts 320 mg
Spinach, cooked 250 mg
Collard greens, cooked 260 mg
Mustard greens, cooked 450 mg
Turnip greens, cooked 450 mg
Amaranth leaves, cooked 276 mg
Nuts – per 1/4 cup serving
Almonds 165 mg
Chestnuts 150 mg
Filberts 113 mg
Walnuts 70 mg
Nut butters – per 2 T. serving
Almond butter 86 mg
Seeds & Seed butters – per 2 T. serving
Sesame seeds 110 mg
Sunflower seeds 33 mg
Sesame butter 42 mg
Sunflower seed butter 39 mg
Fish – per 3 oz. serving
Raw oysters 76 mg
Shrimp 33 mg
Salmon with bones 181 mg
Mackerel, canned with bones 680 mg
Sardines, canned with bones 1000 mg
Beans – per 1 cup serving
Garbanzo beans, cooked 340 mg
Soybeans, cooked 450 mg
Tofu, firm 400 mg
Blackstrap molasses
(1 tbsp.)
130 mg
Carob flour (2 oz.) 110 mg
Dried figs (3 oz.) 100 mg
Dried apricots (3 oz.) 80 mg

14 Responses to Non-Dairy Calcium Sources

  1. Amy Ellen says:

    Great post! I am glad you are posting about the less-than-stellar truth about commercial dairy products.

    I hope you get to feeling totally better again soon!

    Amy Ellen’s last blog post..Healthy Children’s Lunches


  2. Why is it that there’s only calcium in cooked spinach? We don’t eat a lot of the other greens listed (not til I can start gardening again) but eat tons of raw spinach in our green smoothies. My 2 year old and I both react to dairy and have yet to find a source of raw dairy here (were in Canada).


    Amy @ Muddy Boots’s last blog post..Works For Me Wednesday: laundry


  3. ashley says:

    thank you for this post! i always tell people when i ask that leafy greens are the best source of absorbable calcium, and now i can throw some statistics into my conversation!


  4. niki says:

    Gotta praise you for posting this! My son has protein allergies so milk and soy are off-limits. I am always worrying about him and his calcium intake.

    Thanks for the resource.

    niki’s last blog post..Spring is Here! Got Allergies?


  5. Denise says:

    sometimes a blog break is nice. hope you are feeling better.

    Denise’s last blog post..the chick chronicles continued


  6. Ricki says:

    Great list, thanks! I remember being so pleased to learn that figs and carob were both sources of calcium, as I love them both! I’m surprised dandelion greens aren’t on that list–they’re a really good source, as is seaweed (eat that sushi!). :)

    Ricki’s last blog post..Flash in the Pan: Cheryl’s Creamy Coconut Collards


  7. pam says:

    Great post. Makes me feel good about the sardines that I have every so often!

    pam’s last blog post..Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet


  8. jenny says:

    Excellent list. It’s easy to forget that there’s so very many options to get adequate nutrition from whole foods. I love my raw milk, though.

    jenny’s last blog post..10 Nutritional Powerhouses that Won’t Break the Bank


  9. Ashley says:

    This is a great lot of info! Thanks! I was looking for this not too long ago! Thanks!

    Ashley’s last blog post..Works For Me Wednesday – Getting Water Out Of Bath Toys (rubber ducks)


  10. nina says:

    Thanks for this great reminder. I’m going to add a few to my grocery list this week. My kids drink only a bit of soymilk and we don’t eat dairy so alternate calcium sources are important.

    I hope you are feeling better. We’ve been down all week. First one then the other and soon to be me. I’ve had lots of time to declutter and organize as we haven’t been leaving the house.

    nina’s last blog post..A bit more decluttering…


  11. Pampered Mom says:

    Don’t forget one of my favorite (and free!) sources of calcium – Dandelion Greens! We don’t use any chemicals in our lawn so I just love picking from this super low maintenance food source in my own yard.

    Pampered Mom’s last blog post..New Curtains for the Craft Room


  12. Alger says:

    I just found this website and it looks great. beautiful design!


  13. Alchemille says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m currently working at remineralizing my teeth (enamel loss/discoloration is a lesser known effect of gluten sensitivity)…I have a whole battle plan going on to which I keep adding my latest reads/findings.
    Nourishing herbal infusions are also a good source of assimilable calcium (how much depends on which herb(s) you choose).

    Alchemille’s last blog post..Puffed Grains and Breakfast Cereals, should we eat them?


  14. [...] Most of us are aware that calcium builds bones and teeth, but are calcium supplements important? Thi…d it builds strong bones and teeth. You need calcium every day because your body leaches calcium from your teeth and bones to meet your body's needs, and then restores the calcium reserve (your bones and teeth) with the calcium you've consumed that day. If you don’t consume enough calcium, your bones and teeth become depleted, which causes weakness. This is why you should keep an eye on how much calcium you get each day. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.