It’s long been known that calcium is an important part of any diet, and especially for women who are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis in later life. But how can you get enough calcium in your diet to ensure that you continue to have healthy bones and strong muscles well into your years? With these helpful tips, you can fit more calcium into any diet. Many of them even work if you’re lactose intolerant or if you’re a vegan.
Go Nuts for Almonds
Looking for a good snack that will keep you going throughout the afternoon between lunch and dinner? Grab a handful of almonds. A serving of almonds contains about 100mg of calcium, and with their low glycemic index, almonds make a great energy booster to keep you feeling full and energetic throughout the day.
Grab a Soy or Almond Milk Latte
Do you love stopping at the coffee shop on the way to work for your morning caffeine fix? Whether or not you’re lactose intolerant or a vegan, you can pack in some low-calorie, diet-friendly calcium when you order either soy or almond milk latte instead of a latte with regular milk or a regular coffee. Check out your other dietary restrictions to see which of these milk substitutes will work best for you.
Go for Some Dark, Leafy Greens
You may already know that dark, leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, and kale are high in iron and other nutrients, but did you know they’re a good source of calcium, too? Just substitute spinach and/or kale for your sandwich greens or lunch salad, and you’ll have boosted your daily calcium intake by at least 100mg.
Eat a Cup of Oatmeal for Breakfast
Unsweetened oatmeal is a great source of a lot of healthy nutrients, and it can add between 100 and 150mg of calcium to your daily nutrition. So when you wake up in the morning, go ahead and fuel up on calcium-rich oatmeal.
Step Away From the Soda Machine
Sugary sodas aren’t just packed with sugar and calories – they also increase the phosphates in your blood, which then hinder your body from absorbing calcium and can actually leach calcium from your bones, as well. If you didn’t already have enough incentive to stop drinking soda and drink more water, that should be a really good one!
Take a Calcium Supplement
With all that said, sometimes you may still have trouble getting enough calcium in your diet. Honestly, that’s okay if you just choose a daily multivitamin that includes calcium or if you grab an over-the-counter calcium supplement. This will help you fill in your calcium content for the day when you can’t grab any of the other foods we’ve mentioned throughout the day.
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Finally, don’t neglect your vitamin D intake. Your body actually can’t absorb and use calcium properly if it doesn’t have enough vitamin D. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to load up on vitamin D if you spend a little bit of time each day in the sun, drink vitamin D fortified milk (or milk substitutes), and/or take a vitamin D supplement regularly.
Whether you’re a vegan, you’re lactose intolerant, or you have gluten sensitivity, you can get enough calcium in your diet to keep your bones dense and your muscles functioning well. With these tips, you should have no trouble getting more calcium in your daily nutrition, and you should notice that you have fewer cramps, less soreness, and faster muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, too. Try them out today and see how much better you can feel.