Our body needs calcium to help muscles and blood vessels contract and expand, to secrete hormones and enzymes and to send messages through the nervous system. Calcium is known to be crucial for children with growing bones, but it's a vital part of adult diets too.
It helps in maintaining healthy bone structure and muscle function in adults. According to The Independent, NHS recommends adults aged 19 to 64 to consume 700mg of calcium a day, and their main recommended sources are milk, cheese and dairy sources. But there are some non-dairy food items which people don't tend to eat as it is believed that they do not provide much calcium.
Fortunately there are plenty of other ways to get calcium into your diet, as explained by Frida Harju-Westman. These are the non-dairy foods you didn't know contain calcium:
Oranges: Not many people know but oranges contain high levels of calcium. "Eating just one orange has over 70mg of calcium, ensuring that you receive six per cent of your calcium intake for the day, as well as a great boost of vitamin C, in just one snack," noted Harju-Westman.
Almonds: Almonds in particular are a great calcium-rich snack and they're also one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming, which helps to give you better immune function and energy. She shared, "Nuts aren't the first thing people think of when they think about calcium-rich foods, however many nuts contain a significant amount of calcium."
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as kale are extremely low in calories, contain zero fat and high levels of fibre and calcium. "I recommend adding a side of kale to your evening meal or making your own homemade kale chips for a healthy snack," explained Harju-Westman.
Brocolli: It is believed that Broccoli is a 'super-vegetable' if ever there was one. According to Harju-Westman, the vegetable is packed with essential nutrients including vitamins A-K and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphorous. But it also contains exceptionally high levels of calcium, which is easily absorbed by the body.