5 Ways to Get Calcium if You're Lactose Intolerant
Calcium is an important nutrient for the human body, including the nervous system, bones, teeth, heart, and muscles. For most people, one of their primary sources of dietary calcium is through dairy products that contain an abundance of calcium. However, if you're lactose intolerant and avoid dairy products, getting enough calcium can be challenging. Here are some useful tips on how to get enough dietary calcium.
1 - Consider Adding Seeds and Nuts to Your Normal Diet
Most seeds and nuts have a large amount of calcium in them. Some examples include almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, pistachios, walnuts, and brazil nuts. If you don't enjoy seeds or nuts by themselves, they're are plenty of recipes that involve adding them to other foods.
2 - Get Your Share of Leafy Greens
Ingestion of leafy greens is one great way of meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium. Examples of leafy greens that are a good source of leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and turnip greens. One easy way to get enough leafy greens is to add them to a salad or sandwich.
3 - Make Vitamin D a Priority
Vitamin D does not have calcium in it, but it does help our body absorb and store more calcium. Foods such as eggs, fish, and cereal are good sources of vitamin D. Another healthy way for your body to get vitamin D is to spend time in the sun. Studies have shown that as little as 5 minutes in the sun can help to increase your vitamin D level.
4 - Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
A normal single-serving packet of oatmeal contains about 100 mg of calcium, about 10% of the daily recommendation for adults. Add soy milk or almond milk to the oatmeal for additional calcium!
5 - Consider a Calcium Supplement
If you aren't getting enough calcium from your normal diet, you should consider a calcium supplement to meet the daily recommended calcium intake amount. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you decide if a calcium supplement is a good idea and can even recommend several over-the-counter supplements.
Getting enough calcium is important, especially as we age, when osteoporosis becomes more prevalent. If you're lactose intolerant, get in the habit of reading nutrition labels to learn more about the foods you eat and so that you can determine if you're getting your daily recommended calcium.