5 Foods that contain more calcium than milk
Calcium is necessary for the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones, nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes. A deficiency in calcium can cause numbness in fingers and toes, muscle cramps, convulsions, lethargy, loss of appetite, and abnormal heart rhythms. Conversely, excess calcium (particularly from supplements) can lead to kidney stones, calcification of soft tissues, and increased risk of vascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. Contrary to popular beliefs that dairy products are the best and richest source of calcium, dairy products, milk especially is not the best and richest source of it. More calcium is found in dark leafy greens, than in one glass of cow milk. While there is some evidence that oxalates in greens can hinder calcium absorption, they are still a good source of calcium, and the calculated daily value (DV) already takes into account absorption and bio-availability. This is good news for people who are lactose intolerant, vegans or simply don’t like the taste of milk. But they still need to take calcium. Now this important nutrition can be found in the following foods.
1 Sesame seeds
Surprisingly sesame seeds contain more calcium thank milk. In ¼ cup of sesame seeds, you can get up to 351 mg of calcium, which is far more than what you get in one glass of milk (305 mg). Adding sesame to your salads, on top of your baked buns or even in your smoothies is a great idea to boost your calcium level (in case you don’t want or can’t drink milk daily).
If you were avoiding it so far, maybe it’s time to add it in your healthy food lists. A smoothie with raw kale contains 90 mg of calcium per cup. Three or more cups of kale salad a day will provide you with 315 mg of calcium; more than the amount of calcium you would get from a glass of cow’s milk. Kale also contains manganese and phosphorus which are two other minerals that are important for healthy bones.
Another excellent course of calcium, containing 244.8 mg per cup. Of course, if you are having a meal with cooked spinach you will eat more than one cup, and that leads to a daily intake that overcomes the regular 305 mg of calcium you can get from one glass of milk. One cup accounts for 24.5% of your daily value intake. Spinach is also rich in manganese which supports growth and development of normal bone structure and joint membranes. Spinach contains 84% of your daily value intake of manganese.
4 Collard Greens
For building and maintaining strong bones, collard greens are an amazing dairy alternative. In just two cups of collard greens, you are obtaining 452.2 mg of calcium, nearly 90% of your daily value intake. Collard greens, spinach, or kale make great options for your daily smoothie. Collard greens also contain vitamin B6 and folic acid which reduce homocysteine levels. Homocysteine has been found to damage bone structure. Collard greens can also be prepared by lightly steaming and marinating with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, dill weed, and sea salt.
A quarter cup of dry roasted almonds contains about 72 mg (about 20 nuts). Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, packed with amazing amount of nutrients per calorie and gram. Besides calcium, they also contain potassium, vitamin E, and iron. Sprinkle on a salad or make your own almond butter. You can also add them into your smoothie, or you can start the day with a handful of almonds as a breakfast combined with yogurt or your favorite juice.