Non Dairy Calcium Sources
How to get enough calcium if you have a dairy allergy or don’t consume milk
As a Registered Dietitian, I have noticed that many of my clients, and more specifically my Asian clients, avoid milk products as they have a lactose intolerance or just didn’t grow up eating many dairy foods. In fact, lactose intolerance occurs more often in people of Asian, African, South American, and indigenous peoples than among people of European descent.
Many of my clients ask if they should take a calcium supplement. As a Dietitian who believes foremost in whole foods rather than supplements, I ask them to first consider revising their diets to get the needed calcium and other vitamins and minerals for healthy bones from calcium-rich foods.
Non dairy Calcium Sources
- Broccoli, Okra, and dark, green leafy vegetables including Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli), Choi Sum, kale, collards, and turnip greens.
- Fish canned with bones (examples: sardines and salmon).
- Calcium-fortified soy products such as soy beverage and tofu (look for extra firm or pressed tofu that contains more calcium)
- Black sesame seeds, chia seeds, tahini
- Calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages such as oat, almond and coconut beverage
- Calcium-fortified juices
Looking for a delicious recipe that is high in protein and non dairy calcium? These Salmon Quinoa Patties are a favorite dinner option in my family. It’s from the cookbook Dietitians at Home that I co-authored. I often make a batch for a quick and easy meal solution. Cook once and eat at least twice!
Salmon Quinoa Patties
Try this tasty recipe that is a good option when you are looking for non-dairy sources of calcium
What you Need
How to Prepare Salmon Quinoa Patties
- Rinse quinoa under running water and drain well. Bring quinoa and water to a simmer in a pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid, turn heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until water is fully absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Drain salmon and lightly mashed with a fork in a bowl. Add cooked quinoa, scallion, cilantro, ginger, lime juice, eggs, sea salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Mix until well blended. Divide salmon mixture into 8 equal portions and form each into 1/2-inch-thick patty.
- Warm oil in a flat-bottomed pan over low heat and place patties in a pan. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Flip patties, then cover and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until cooked thoroughly and golden brown.
- Repeat step3 until all patties are cooked. Serve warm with yogurt dressing (on page 127).
What You Need
How to Prepare:
- Combine all ingredients and serve with salmon quinoa patties
Looking for more information on getting enough calcium from non-dairy foods or choosing a calcium supplement?
Check out these previous articles on our blog for more information:
- Boost your bone strength: good nutrition can guard against osteoporosis
- How to choose a calcium supplement
- Nutrition for women after 40
Looking for more simple meal planning tips and healthy recipes for a healthier lifestyle? Sign up for our weekly newsletter for a healthy recipe of the week (and nutrition articles and videos with a balanced living philosophy to help encourage healthy habits but still save room for your favorites). Our nutrition newsletter is written by the Online / Calgary Nutritionists on our team who each hold a professional Registered Dietitian license to ensure you are getting credible advice.
When you meet Amy Yiu you can’t help to be drawn to her infectious enthusiasm, optimism and sincere care for her clients. She loves teaching and mentoring and is known for her kind, reassuring and lighthearted nature. Her clients enjoy the balance of her detail oriented understanding of nutrition wrapped with the ability to offer simplified and practical ideas that can work for any family situation. Since 2008 Amy has worked as a private practice Dietitian as a nutrition counsellor, author, media expert and workshop facilitator. Amy has extensive experience in education for weight concerns, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bone health, seniors health and family meal planning. She offers nutrition support in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.