If I had a dime for every time told a patient to cut down on dairy and heard “But what about my calcium?”… I’d have enough for an armful of unsweetened soy green tea lattes. Cow dairy is far from being the only source of calcium in the diet. In fact, if you take into account the way milk is mass-produced in large-scale dairy farms, often utilizing hormones and antibiotics, conventional dairy products are not even the healthiest way to get your calcium. I often always encounter people who are sensitive to cow dairy, and it can be the root of many conditions (eczema, irritable bowl syndrome, asthma and allergies, to name a few). To ease worries about adequate calcium, I arm patients with a list of good calcium sources other than dairy.
Foods in bold are especially rich in calcium. Try to mix and match a variety of different sources each day, to create complete intake.
Peas and beans
Sesame seeds, tahini, sesame butter
Soy: edamame, tofu, fortified soy milk
Fortified almond milk
Fortified Rice milk
If you are not sensitive to dairy, choose organic brands and don’t forget about goat and sheep dairy. Plain Greek yogurt is a great choice, as it also contains live probiotic cultures and protein in addition to lots of calcium.