Calcium is an important part of a healthy diet. Most commonly known for its role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, it is also needed for muscle function, nerve transmission and a host of other health benefits.
The daily recommended amount of calcium for a healthy adult is 1000mg for men and 1200mg for women.
This might sound like a lot, but it's necessary as our bodies find calcium harder to absorb than other vitamins and minerals, the absorption is also dependent on the calcium source as some foods are better absorbed than others.
The go to place that people look to fulfill this are dairy products such as milk, cheese or yoghurt, but what if you have a dairy intolerance or you want to supplement your diet with some non-dairy products?
Luckily there's some surprising foods which have naturally occurring calcium and some that are fortified with it to help people consume a balanced diet - check out these 5 surprising dairy-free sources of calcium!
Naturally Occurring Calcium
It might sound fishy, but there's a lot of calcium in sardines. In fact in 90g of sardines you'll consume more than 340mg of calcium, that's 2 and a half times more than in 113ml of cows milk.
Is there anything kale can't do? In 2 cups of raw kale you'll get 188mg of calcium, around 20% of your daily allowance.
Containing nearly 20% of your daily recommended amount, white beans are a great way to increase your calcium levels. Not sure how to eat them? Check out these recipe ideas here.
Orange juice shouldn't be consumed too regularly due to its high sugar content, but one 236ml glass of this refreshing breakfast favourite can provide 500mg of calcium.
There's a huge 861mg of calcium in this meat substitute made from soybeans. It's very high in protein which makes it a great choice if you want a filling meal and its growing popularity in both vegetarian and mainstream cooking.