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Bone up on dairy-free calcium

Have you been fretting your bone health since adopting a vegan diet because you no longer consume calcium-rich dairy products? Fret no more, you can get your recommended daily intake of calcium from non-dairy sources.

Have you been fretting your bone health since adopting a vegan diet because you no longer consume calcium-rich dairy products? Fret no more, you can get your recommended daily intake of calcium from non-dairy sources.
Have you been fretting your bone health since adopting a vegan diet because you no longer consume calcium-rich dairy products? Fret no more, you can get your recommended daily intake of calcium from non-dairy sources.

Milk and dairy are not necessary

According to Amy Joy Lanou, PhD, and Michael Castleman, authors of Building Bone Vitality (McGraw Hill, 2009), about one-third of the typical American' calcium intake comes from nondairy sources, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs and animal foods. As a vegan, you won't be noshing any eggs or animals, but your vegan diet is based on other foods that provide calcium.

>>Find out how much calcium you need

Soy comes with calcium

You may be surprised but 1 cup of tofu has about 500 grams of calcium and 1 cup of cooked soybeans has about 250 grams of calcium. Calcium in soy milk differs by brand, but averages at around 300 milligrams per 1 cup (opt for calcium-fortified varieties). Including these dairy-free power proteins into your diet will also strengthen your bones.

Try these soy-based vegan recipes:

Dark leafy greens are delicious dairy-free bone-builders

One of the most concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals, dark leafy greens can provide up to 350 milligrams of dairy-free calcium per serving, depending on the type of green. Best yet, dark leafy greens can be eaten in a variety of tasty vegan ways.

Try these vegan recipes with dark leafy greens:

Sweet sources of calcium

Fruit may be the last place you'd expect to find calcium, but naturally sweet figs supply about 250 grams of calcium (per 10 dried figs). One cup of prunes provides about 95 grams of calcium while 1 cup of dried apricots supplies about 75 grams of the bone-building mineral. Raisins have about 53 grams of calcium per 2/3-cup.

Vegan recipes featuring calcium-rich fruit:

Go nuts for calcium

You can add a handful of calcium to your daily diet by noshing on nuts. For example, 1 ounce of almonds provides about 70 grams while the same amount of Brazil nuts or hazelnuts supply just over 40 grams of calcium.

Vegan recipes featuring nuts:

As a bonus, dairy-free sources of calcium are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as antioxidants and healthy fats, that dairy-based sources of calcium may not have.
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