Our parents always told us to drink milk for healthy teeth and bones, but if you are one of the 15% of people in the UK that are lactose intolerant, enjoying this milky goodness is simply not possible. But fear not, through the power of juicing and calcium-rich, non-dairy foods, you can get your daily dose of calcium without putting your health at risk.
Why is calcium so important?
There is officially more calcium in the body than any other mineral, and it’s there for good reason. Calcium facilitates a series of functions that keep us fit, healthy and happy each and every day. Without calcium conditions such as osteoporosis can present major issues in later life, whilst your little ones are also at risk of developing bone weakness and deformities at a young age.
In the body, calcium is essential to the development of strong teeth and bones, it also regulates muscle contractions, a process that is essential to the most important muscle in the human body – the heart. Calcium is also integral to the blood clotting process and nerve function. Adults need 700mg of calcium per day, and whilst milk, cheese and other dairy products are off limits to those who are intolerant to lactose, a steady source of calcium can be found in its rawest form minus the dairy.
Which foods are rich in calcium but free from dairy?
There are a number of surprising sources of calcium, many of which may already be in your kitchen. Just one portion of the following non-dairy, calcium rich foods accounts for more than 15% of your recommended daily intake (RDI):
- White beans & black eyed peas
- Tinned salmon
- Sardine fillets
- Dried figs
- Blackstrap molasses
- Turnip greens
- Orange juice
- Firm tofu
Why Juice for calcium?
Juicing is a great way of ensuring that your calcium intake – and that of all vital vitamins and minerals, for that matter – is where it should be. While it can be difficult to plan a week full of meals that cover the complete nutrient spectrum, making a juice a day can ensure that you never go short of calcium, vitamin C or even potassium. Juicing is even better for parents with children who are fussy eaters. For them, a juice a day can mean the difference between healthy development and problems with bone growth and even nerve function.
The calcium-rich, dairy-free juices to try today!
Whilst there are a selection of dairy-free recipes just waiting for you to try, including kale slaw, dandelion and fig salad with grated almonds, collard greens stew and braised turnip greens, juicing using a cold press juicer ensures a quick hit of all the calcium you need. The added benefit of raw food juices is that by removing the need for cooking, none of the nutrient quality is lost through heating.
Here are just two juicing recipes for you to try at home…
The savoury sensation
All you need is:
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 tomato
- ¼ red onion
- 1 peeled lemon
- ½ cucumber
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to season
Juice all the ingredients, minus the olive oil, salt and pepper, using your cold press juicer. Season the drink with olive oil, salt and pepper, stir and enjoy. A great summer drink, particularly when served over ice.
Heart skips a beet
All you need is:
- 1 apple
- 2 medium-sized beetroots
- 3 large carrots
- 5cm of ginger
- 200g kale
Simply juice all your ingredients – don’t forget to peel your beetroot and ginger – then pour over ice and enjoy as a morning, lunch or evening drink.