Dairy tends to be the go-to source of calcium for many people, but if you’re lactose intolerant, you’ve got a whole different challenge. The good news is that dairy is far from the only way to get calcium in your diet. In fact, there are plenty of lactose-free, calcium-rich foods available for the lactose intolerant. Here are just a few options to try so you can start to get the calcium you need today.
If you’re not sure how much you need to supplement your diet with calcium, check out Do You Have a Calcium Deficiency? Here’s How to Find Out
Have a Big Salad
One of the best ways a lactose intolerant individual can get more calcium is to eat leafy greens. Kale, spinach, bok choy, and collard greens are all great sources of calcium. Each has about 100 mg of calcium per serving, so putting them all in a big salad will ensure your body doesn’t have to go without this nutrient for long. Of course, you can also top your sandwiches with one of these leafy greens and that’ll help you get the calcium you need.
Eat More Sesame Seeds
If you’re looking for an easy-breezy dairy-free calcium-rich fix, add sesame seeds to your diet. One tablespoon of these glorious seeds have about 90 mg of calcium. If just grabbing a handful of sesame seeds for a snack doesn’t appeal to you, get in the habit of sprinkling them on salads, stir-fry, or pasta when you want a calcium boost.
Give Cheese a Chance
When you’re lactose intolerant, cheese probably sounds risky, but not all cheeses are created equal. But cheese doesn’t have to be scary. Some cheeses have hardly any lactose at all, making them safe to eat. For example, aged cheese is often safe to eat because as it loses moisture, it also loses lactose. Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan are a few examples of cheese you can likely handle despite a lactose intolerance, since they have about 0.5 gram or less of lactose.
If you’re still not sure about cheese, check out: Lactose-Free Cheese? You Bet It’s a Thing
Grab Some Dried Fruit
Fruit can be a great addition to a diet in general, but some fruit can also deliver calcium benefits for the lactose intolerant. Certain dried fruits make great dairy-free calcium sources. For instance, dried figs deliver 150 mg of calcium, apricots have 72 mg, a cup of raisins or some dried pumps both deliver about 75 mg of calcium. Factor in some dried fruit as a snack, side, or dessert, and get more calcium in your diet without the need for dairy products.
Try Canned Fish
Did you know eating canned fish is a healthy, tasty way to get the calcium you need? Well, it is! That’s especially good for a lactose intolerant person to know, especially if you like canned fish. Go for canned sardines or salmon with the bones mixed in, since this will help you maximize the amount of calcium you get out of this food. Don’t be grossed out—you won’t even notice those tiny bones, especially once you’ve made that salmon into patties or used it in some other way. And sardines? When you eat 3 oz. of sardines, they’ll deliver about 325 mg of calcium, so feel free to stock up on canned fish if you’re looking for a quick, dairy-free way to improve your calcium intake.
You don’t have to risk a calcium deficiency just because you’re lactose intolerant. Instead, let these foods ensure you get enough of this nutrient every day. And when you add a calcium supplement like FitFormula to your routine, you’ll get even more peace of mind—especially when you get it for 50 percent off!
Get more great options when you read: 10 Amazing Dairy-Free Recipes for the Lactose Intolerant or Dairy-Free Eater
More sources on where to get the calcium you need when you’re lactose intolerant: