How to get more calcium from your diet if you don’t eat a lot of diary.

How do you get more calcium from your diet ?

Often, I’ve heard that in order to absorb calcium from spinach you must eat something acidic with it, such as lemon juice.  But is this really true? 

Well, if we were to eat too much spinach on a regular basis, lemon juice does prevents the formation of kidney stones.  But, it doesn't increase the amount of calcium absorbed.

So what increases the the amount of calcium your intestine absorbs from spinach ?

  • The answer is cooking it, and

  • Draining off the brown water that is left behind. 

    I've talked about he benefits of cooking tomatoes for men, this releases lycopene which can help prevent prostate cancer.   As for spinach, it contains a lot of phytic acids, which prevent the absorption of calcium in our intestine.  So even though spinach contains lots of calcium, we cannot absorb it if eaten raw, in a salad or smoothie, due to the phytic acids. 

    Of course spinach does contain lots of other goodness such as B vitamins, which we still absorb if eaten raw; however, if you're vegan or do not eat diary, then eating sufficient calcium everyday and getting enough vitamin D to aid absorption of the calcium are important to preserve bone density.

Unlike raw spinach,  calcium is absorbed well from raw kale due to its low phytic acid levels.

Other foods high in calcium

  1. Cabbages:250 milligrams in 1 cup raw

  2. Chia seeds: 200 milligrams in 2 tablespoons

  3. Tofu: 430 milligrams in 1/2 cup

  4. Soy Milk: this usually fortified with a calcium salt Read the label for concentration of calcium

  5. Kale: 100 milligrams in cup raw

  6. Almonds: 75 milligrams in 20 almonds

  7. lentils and white beans

  8. Sardines and salmon

Key advice

  • Remember, in order to absorb calcium from you diet you need to have adequate levels of vitamin D,

  • Get 20 minutes of sunshine a day without sunscreen ( when the sun in low in the sky),

  • Eat oily fish such as salmon and sardines and mackerel all rich in calcium ad vitamin D,

  • If you don’t want to eat a lot of fish-to conserve marine life, or if you are allergic to fish-eat lots of leafy green, beans, tofu, almonds and then get vitamin-D from eggs and cheese if sunshine’s not an option.

  • Take vitamin D3 during winter months- that can mean November to April for a lot of us. Recommended dose is 1600 iu a day.(Though some doctors recommend higher doses)