11 Calcium-Rich Foods That Have Nothing To Do With Dairy


Regardless of your reasoning for not consuming milk, cheese and yogurt, the question remains: how do you make sure you stock your diet with enough calcium every day? Calcium is an essential mineral that helps us keep our bones strong and nerves healthy (among other things). Without it, we risk poor growth as adolescents and osteoporosis as adults. All men and women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily to reap the benefits and live healthy lives.

When that classic glass of 2 percent milk is off the table, what’s left? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below are 11 natural, healthy foods that will help you reach your daily dose of this literal body-building mineral. And the further down the list you scroll, the more calcium stocked the foods become. Maybe staying far away from the land of dairy isn’t so difficult after all.

1. Sesame Seeds


88 milligrams in a tablespoon

Toss these babies in any stir fry, salad or lean protein dish to get an extra calcium boost along with a toasted, nutty flavor.

2. Chia Seeds


90 milligrams in a tablespoon

This key to any solid overnight oats recipe just secured its spot on our ingredient list forever.

3. Figs 


107 milligrams in 8 whole dried figs

That’s right, this delicious Mediterranean favorite can supply a tenth of your daily value of calcium. Just be wary of all the sugar that’s packed into a large serving of any dried fruit.

4. Black-Eyed Peas


185 milligrams in 1/2 cup, canned

Southern comfort food lovers, rejoice! These cute little legumes give you quite a lot of calcium in a conservative serving.

5. Turnip Greens


197 milligrams in 1 cup cooked, chopped

Another fun taste of the south, turnip greens are perfectly savory, bitter and calcium-fortified.

6. Kale


201 milligrams in 2 cups raw, chopped

Bring on the green! Opt for kale as your salad base and score a fifth of your daily calcium right there.

7. Canned Salmon


232 milligrams in half a can (with bones)

It may sound weird that we recommend the canned version to the fresh filet, but go with it. Because the salmon is stored with the bones in the can, the fish you eat soaks up additional calcium from the bones, making it even more nourishing.

8. Sardines


351 milligrams in one 3.75-ounce can

These bad boys play the calcium game, too. And you don’t have to eat a lot to really reap the benefits.

9. Collard greens


357 milligrams in 1 cup frozen then boiled

These dark, leafy greens rank third with their powerful calcium punch in just a 1-cup serving.

10. Tofu


434 milligrams per half cup

A vegetarian favorite, tofu is surprisingly calcium-rich even when it’s not a “fortified” product.

11. Almonds


457 milligrams in one cup, oil-roasted

A cup of almonds (that’s a lot) will run you about 1,000 calories (oof), but that’ll also provide half of your calcium needs for the day. So maybe just spread these snacks out over the course of the day.