Look Beyond Dairy for Calcium Sources

Find out which seeds can provide you with a great source of dietary calcium

There’s more than one way to get the calcium you need

Dairy products aren’t the only source of dietary calcium. There are many other sources you may not be aware of suggests Eve Lees, a Vancouver-based nutrition coach.

For example, poppy seeds provide much more calcium than other seeds: 126 mg in one tablespoon. Lees suggests adding them whole or ground to any dish; sprinkle on fresh fruit, mix into yogurt, cook them into your whole grains or add to soups and salads.

Poppy seeds are also rich in fibre, iron and many other nutrients. Alternate poppy seeds with other seeds you are using, such as flax, sesame, chia or hemp. Have a different one each day. They are all excellent choices, each with their own unique health-boosting properties.

Celery seed (not celery salt) is another little-known calcium contributor. One tablespoon offers 115 mg of calcium. Add to soups or cooked grains. Other overlooked calcium sources include six figs (115 mg), one cup cooked collard greens (350 mg), and one tablespoon blackstrap molasses (200 mg). Molasses is left after refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Try mixing some into a glass of warm milk.

Did you know?

Skim milk and skim-milk products provide more calcium than one-per-cent, two-per-cent and full-fat versions? That’s because the calcium is all in the whey or watery part of the milk.