Is It Really Possible To Gain Calcium Without Dairy?

Written by Gregory Bennett

Gain Calcium Without Dairy

Since we were kids, we’ve been told to drink two to three glasses of milk each day to get enough calcium. And it’s true: milk is one of the best sources of this mineral. In fact, a cup of milk gives you 28 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium.


However, research released by the Harvard School of Public Health says that too much milk should not be a part of one’s daily diet and that consumption of too much dairy may pose some health risks. The scientists behind this study recommend fat-free milk or low-fat milk instead. They also urge the public to consider using other non-dairy sources of calcium.

Why? For one, milk contains a lot of calories. A cup of 2 percent milk already packs in 138 calories. This means an additional 366 calories to your diet if you’re consuming three cups a day. Obviously, this is not advisable for someone who’s trying to lose or keep off extra weight. That’s not all.  Those who are lactose-intolerant find it difficult to digest the lactose found in milk.

So what can you do? You certainly can’t afford to skip on calcium, as this mineral plays many vital roles in the health—regulating hormones, promoting bone growth and development, transmitting messages to and from the nerves, and ensuring proper cellular function, among others.The best solution? Go for non-dairy sources of calcium, which is enumerated in the list below.



When it comes to calcium-packed veggies, topping the list is kale. A cup of kale contains 100 mg of calcium, which is even more than what you get in milk. This cruciferous vegetable is also rich in other nutrients like potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and protein.


Chinese Cabbage


Not only does Chinese cabbage supply you with 75 mg of calcium per cup, it’s also a high calcium absorption vegetable.



Snacking on a cup of roasted almonds gives you a staggering 457 mg of calcium. But because almonds also contain a lot of calories, you don’t have to eat a cup all at once. Almonds are also packed with nutritional fatty acids and can benefit the heart and brain function as well.



Eating sardines with bones is also a good way to get your day’s supply of calcium. A can of sardines packs in 888 mg of this mineral.

glass bottle of almond milk



Another fatty fish that you should also eat more often is salmon. A can of salmon almost has the same amount of calcium, which is 882 mg.

Sesame seeds


In the ancient times, these tiny seeds have the same value as gold. Since then, these seeds have been recognised for their plethora of health benefits. If you’d like to get calcium from non-dairy sources, consider sesame seeds. A tablespoon provides 88 mg of calcium.

chia seed pudding

Chia seeds


Enjoy the many benefits of chia seeds, which are some of the world’s most nutritious foods. It’s loaded with protein, dietary fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and many nutrients. An ounce of these seeds delivers 179 mg of calcium.



A vegetarian’s favourite alternative to meat, tofu is also an excellent non-dairy source of calcium. A serving of 100 grams of tofu gives you a whopping 350 mg.

Soy Milk


Soy milk may not have as much calcium as cow’s milk. But if you go for a calcium-fortified product then you’re getting almost the same amount without the harmful effects.

Soy protein

People shouldn’t be obligated to drink milk if they don’t want to. After all, they can get their much-needed calcium from other sources that are free from dairy. It’s important to prioritise and choose a healthy lifestyle if you want to look good inside out.


Whether you’re 100% vegan and you don’t like dairy or you have an intolerance, it’s fundamental to get your intake of calcium from the best alternatives.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Casey Walker

Casey Walker

Experienced Sports Nutrition Technologist

Casey Walker is an experienced sports nutrition new product development technologist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Sports Sciences and Physiology.

Casey’s scientific research area of expertise lies in the effects of dietary nitrates on sprint performance and exercise-induced muscle damage. He has also worked as a sports scientist for a medal-winning Paralympic track cyclist, with a goal of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Find out more about Casey’s experience here.

In his spare time, Casey is a keen middle-distance runner with an interest in triathlon. He’s always looking out for the latest blends and supplements to improve his half-marathon time and recovery.

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