Sep 22, 2014 11:45 PM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Your body needs calcium, but not just for strong bones and teeth. Your heart, nerves and other body systems need calcium to work. “Most adults need about 1,000–1,200 milligrams of calcium each day,” says Jamie Saunders, MS, a registered dietitian at University of Utah Health. “While you can take calcium supplements, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals through foods.”

 For those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or just don’t like dairy, never fear. Here are four nondairy sources for calcium.

diet nutrition


Orange juice

Start your day with a 6-ounce glass of OJ fortified with calcium, and you're a third of the way to meeting the recommended daily amount.


One cup of instant oatmeal contains nearly 20% of the daily calcium you need. Add a handful of slivered almonds for an extra 100 mg of calcium.


These fish are small but mighty. With 325 mg of calcium per 3-ounce serving, sardines can give your salads or pasta a healthy boost of calcium.


Instead of sugar in your morning tea or oatmeal, use this natural sweetener. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides nearly 20% of the recommended daily amount of calcium. A packet of sugar provides ... zero nutrients.

How much do you know about calcium? Take this quiz and find out. 

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