One of the first questions people have been asking when we tell them about the Whole30 is inevitably how are you going to get enough calcium without drinking milk??
I realized I don’t really know how to answer them specifically, so I did a little research. Here’s what I found out:
Dairy is not the only good source of calcium. You can find calcium in a variety of non-dairy, nutrient dense foods, including vegetables, meat and seafood, and nuts.
- Vegetable sources include kale, bok choy, broccoli, spinach, collard greens (good thing we live in the south!), turnip greens, and sea vegetables (like nori).
- Meat and Seafood sources include organ meats (Which we most likely won’t be eating. Just to be honest.), bone broth, small fish, shrimp, and oysters.
- Nut and seed sources include almonds (and unsweetened almond milk AND unsweetened almond butter, which are both delicious), hazelnuts, and walnuts.
And what’s MORE:
It’s not just that you’ll find some calcium in these foods – it’s that the calcium in vegetable sources maybe more useful to the body than the stuff you get from milk. One study compared the absorption of calcium from kale with the absorption from milk – and found kale the clear winner. (Yay, kale!) And recent studies have shown that plant-sourced calcium in particular increases bone mineral density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
This is likely not just due to the calcium content of the plant – the complement of other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in veggies exert work together to promote additional beneficial effects on bones.
Pretty cool, huh? Learning something new everyday.
Moral of the story? EAT YOUR GREENS!