If your taste buds, your intolerance of lactose, or your politics keep you away from the dairy case, you can still get calcium from food. What many dairy avoiders don't know is that plants can dole out plenty of this important mineral. But as with hunting for truffles and potential spouses, you have to know what you're looking for.
For an easy way to remember what foods contain calcium, think Chinese food. Stir-fry dishes often include broccoli (62 milligrams of the bone-building mineral per cup), bok choy (158 milligrams in a cup), and edamame (soybeans, delivering 97 milligrams in a cup). Try making this Sesame-Shiitake Bok Choy for a delicious calcium-rich side dish.
Even better, these and other Chinese stir-fry favorites have a chemical makeup that allows your body to absorb calcium. Plenty of other leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and swiss chard, contain calcium. But they also contain oxalate, an acid that limits the amount of calcium your body can absorb.
Considering you need a daily dose of 1,500 milligrams of calcium (and 1,000 international units of vitamin D with that if you're under age 65; 1,200 if you're over that) plus 500 milligrams of magnesium (to keep you from hating us for recommending the calcium) a day, you'll probably still want a supplement. But it's smart for many reasons to get as much as you can from nutritious veggies.
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