A hand pouring milk into a glass

Sources of Calcium That Are Not Milk


So today, I thought I would talk about some foods that are are great sources of calcium that are not milk. Why? Because milk is still considered as one of the only great sources of calcium. However, growingly, kids tend to have allergies and/or do not stomach dairy well. So I wanted to provide you with some alternatives that can also provide a great source.

A mans lower part of the face seen smiling
Amir Esrafili auf Unsplash

What is Calcium?

Let us start with some basics, what is calcium? Calcium is a mineral that is most often associated with healthy bones and teeth. But in reality, it does so much more than that! It helps with blood clotting, it supports our heart rhythm, nerve function, and muscle contraction. Calcium is primarily stored in our bones, with only a small amount found in our blood, muscles, and other tissues.

How Does Calcium Work in the Body?

Because I am a bit of a science geek, I wanted to give you the breakdown and science on this as well. Your body works hard in order to ensure that your calcium levels are evened out in the body. When calcium levels become too low in the body, a hormone is triggered, which will allow for calcium from the bones to be released. This hormone may also trigger vitamin D production in the intestines simultaneously in order for the calcium to be optimally absorbed. At the same time, the kidney is informed to release less calcium via the urine. Once we have enough calcium in our bodies, a different hormone is triggered, in order to reverse the effects and store calcium again in the body.

Next to this cool process, the body can also draw calcium from food sources. In fact, calcium drawn from the body should only be “borrowed” and restored through food sources.

Three kids sitting together on the stairs grinning
Nathan Dumlao auf Unsplash

Why Do Kids Need a Lot of Calcium?

Kids need a lot of calcium to compensate for their growth in both their bones and teeth. Therefore, calcium is super important for young and growing children as a mineral.

Salmon being cut in half
Oxana Kolodina auf Unsplash

Sources of Calcium That Are Not Milk

So, what are some sources that are excellent in calcium that are not milk?

From a dairy perspective, you have yogurt, as well as goat and sheep milk products. Edamame, almonds, and sesame seeds are also great sources. Canned, oily fish such as sardines or salmon. And last but not least (and perhaps a bit surprisingly, leafy greens. I am talking kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip, spinach, and bok choy). Rhubarb can also be an excellent source. As you can see, there are a lot of things you can consume that provide you with calcium that are not milk or even dairy products.

Bright green spinach in abundance
Nathan Nugent auf Unsplash

Bioavailability of Calcium

Calcium is quite a large mineral which is sometimes difficult to be absorbed. Remember that nutrition labels state the amount of calcium that is within a product. This does not necessarily reflect how much your body will truly absorb. One thing that can definitely support absorption rates are adequate vitamin D levels. Whereas the benefits of vitamin D are plentiful, in this instance it is essential in order to draw calcium from your food and then continuing to process it further within your body. So be sure to get in on that sunshine. Or, if you are living in the Northern hemisphere like I do, be sure to take a supplement.

I hope this post taught you more about calcium and the different sources it can have even when we are not talking milk or dairy. Let me know what you think below and what your favorite food containing calcium is! Beautiful cover photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.