When it comes to bone health and nutrition, we tend to focus on meeting our calcium needs with dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. But what if a person is lactose intolerant and can’t consume dairy products? This is the case with one of my readers, who wrote asking for some recipes that were dairy-free yet high in calcium. This Dairy-Free Bone Building Menu is for her, people with dairy allergies and anyone interested in alternative sources of calcium.
Munch on this menu and you will consume 1233 mg of calcium, just over the 1200 mg recommended dietary allowance (RDA) set by Health Canada for women over 50 and men over 70 (the RDA for younger adult women and men is 1000 mg). You will also consume 433 mg of magnesium, another extremely important mineral for bone health (again exceeding the RDA of 320 mg and 420 mg for adult women and men, respectively).
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Dairy-Free Bone Building Menu
Breakfast: Sardine & Avocado Salad (Not a fan of sardines? Use canned, bone-in, wild salmon instead.)
Lunch: Roasted Carrot, White Bean & Tahini Soup with a side of Sauteed Collard Greens & Almonds (don’t skip the collards, they provide 282 mg of the 535 mg of calcium in this lunch)
Dinner: Sesame Trout, Bok Choy & Quinoa (see below for more info on sesame and bok choy)
Treat: Gingerbread Brownies (Blackstrap molasses is surprisingly high in calcium, with 179 mg per tablespoon)
Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive this month’s menu today (as well as each month to come)! And read on for some nutritional tidbits about a few foods featured in the recipes…
A few featured foods
You either love ’em or hate ’em. I love them and the 1.75 ounces at breakfast provides 189 mg of calcium! The secret stash is in the tiny edible bones since you eat them whole. Not a sardine fan? Replace them with canned, bone-in, wild salmon (but be sure to mush in the little bones). While the same sized serving provides only 115 mg of calcium, salmon is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, also important for bone health.
Cruciferous = Calcium
Cruciferous veggies (bok choy, collards, kale, cabbage, broccoli) are excellent sources of calcium. And some studies indicate we may absorb more calcium from them than we do from dairy (the fibre content may play a role in this by slowing the transit of food through the gut). They also contain other bone-healthy nutrients, like magnesium, potassium and vitamin K (one cup of cooked collards contains more than 8 x the RDA for women).
Sesame Seeds & Tahini
Very few people realize sesame seeds are very high in calcium. One tablespoon provides 88 mg of calcium for about 52 calories. So use them to top fish (as in the trout recipe), chicken, pork or beef. Or sprinkle them over salads or cooked vegetables to amp up your calcium intake. They are best roasted or sprouted to improve calcium absorption. The soup contains sesame seed butter (aka tahini) and each serving provides 64 mg calcium from the tahini alone, with the white navy beans a significant source as well.
Cooking your own food is the single most impactful step you can take to improve your health and energy!
I hope you enjoy this Dairy-Free Bone Building Menu (sign up here to receive the download link). And if you want to cook more of your own food but don’t know what to make or have the time to organize your own menus and shopping lists, The Nutritional Reset offers a meal planning service. It makes preparing tasty, nutritious meals a snap. Click here to find out more.