For as long as we remember, milk has been the elixir for good bone health. After all, it does boast of a high amount of calcium. And this is the reason why Indian mums the world over urge their kids to drink milk and eat dairy. But did you know that you can meet your daily recommended allowance of calcium even if you turn vegan?
Now, you might be inclined to say that why the hell would I give up milk and its byproducts? They are the easiest to lay your hands on. But the thing is that dairy has been earning a bad rep for a while now thanks to the presence of pro-inflammatory substances. Not to mention, lactose intolerance has been increasing.
So, if you’re convinced to make the shift, here are 4 calcium-rich foods which are non-dairy–as suggested by nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, founder & CEO, Nmami Life to help you out.
Soya is an excellent source of dietary calcium with 100 grams of soya beans providing approximately 280 milligrams of calcium. Soya is also a rich source of plant-based protein.
The best part? It can be consumed boiled or in the form of tofu, tempeh, soya granules, soya nuggets or soya milk. Soya beans offer complete protein which means they contain all the essential amino acids required by the body. Oh, and because it is nutrient rich but low in calories–it also promotes weight loss.
2. Sesame seeds
Just 100 grams of sesame seeds provide a whopping 975 milligrams of calcium. Compare this to milk and you’ll find that 100 ml of milk offers only 125 milligrams.
Sesame seeds contain essential phytonutrients that help in lowering cholesterol levels apart from strengthening the bones. These tiny seeds also offer five grams of protein for every 30 grams of serving, making them yet another excellent choice for plant-based protein. They are also high in fibre, making them a great weight loss food that can keep you fuller for longer.
You can sprinkle dry roasted sesame seeds over your soups, salads, and stews or add them to your smoothies.
Also known as finger millet, 100 grams of ragi offers 344 milligrams of calcium–making ragi the best grain for obtaining dietary calcium. Ragi is also rich in potassium which maintains blood pressure levels while also being gluten free. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, ragi is loaded with tryptophan which in low doses suppresses appetite.
You can add ragi to your diet in the form of pancakes, upma, cheela, and roti–or you can make a ragi malt by combining ragi with some water and cooking it over a low flame.
Yes almonds can sharpen your memory. But they are also an excellent source of plant-based calcium. About 100 grams of raw almonds provide around 264 milligrams of calcium. These tiny nuts are also packed with protein, vitamin E, magnesium, fibre, and potassium–making them a powerhouse of essential nutrients.
Almonds can also strengthen bones, keep blood pressure levels in check, and stabilize blood sugar levels. And since they are also rich in both protein and fibre, they can reduce your hunger and keep you trim.
You can munch on a handful of almonds every single day–like your mum suggests–or blend it into your smoothies.
We bet you aren’t going gaga over dairy non! So, incorporate these foods into your diet right now to get strong bones and good health.
With inputs from IANS