Hate milk? Here are other foods you can turn to for a good source of calcium.
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Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining healthy bones, Despite this, a significant percent of the population does not get enough calcium from their daily diets. The main reason being that people think they only need to consume meat or dairy to meet their daily recommended intake of calcium. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. However, the good news is that there are numerous food sources, both vegetarian and non-dairy, out there that contain good amounts of calcium. What’s more, these food sources offer a host of other health benefits too.

Broccoli

Your parents were up to something when they forced you to finish your broccoli. As it turns out, two cups of this veggie is known to have about 86 milligrams of calcium. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, this cruciferous veggie can help lower the risk of certain types of cancer. In addition to keeping your cholesterol levels under check, broccoli can also protect your heart, finds the Harvard University School of Public Health. Besides, broccoli also contains twice the amount of vitamin C you’d otherwise get from one small orange. We’re surely loading up on this veggie the next time we head out on our grocery run. Try these recipes to help you tastefully enjoy the health benefits of this veggie: Broccoli cutlet and Broccoli Tandoori

Figs

Figs or anjeer make for a sweet treat. But did you know that with every bite you are taking into this fruit, you’re actually soaking up some of its numerous health benefits? While figs can be enjoyed raw or dried, the benefits increase when they’re dried. Half a cup of dried figs can provide you with about 121 milligrams of calcium. Additionally, a good source of anti-oxidants, figs can also help fight off cancer cells, according to a study by the Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry. Here are ways to help you reap the benefits of this bone-building food: Tapioca Pudding with stewed Figs and Strawberries and Banana and Fig Milkshake

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White Beans

These nutritional powerhouses are an abundant source of fibre, protein, potassium, iron, and are known to have a very low glycemic index. Half a cup cooked white beans can give you up to 63 milligrams of calcium. They are also high in protein and low in cholesterol. A study at the UCLA School of Medicine found that white beans could actually help in weight loss.

Almonds

Almonds are a good source of protein, Vitamin E and potassium. A study published online on the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that almonds could actually help maintain an ideal body weight, reduce the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation. While you can eat them as they are an on-the-go snack or make for a great accompaniment to your bowl of yoghurt or oatmeal. Want to get more almonds in your daily diet? Try this easy-peasy smoothie recipe

Soy foods

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Vegans and vegetarians swear by this for their daily intake of protein. Yes, we’re talking about soy foods - soya milk, soya beans and tofu – which are all also great sources of calcium. What more, an American Heart Association paper published in 2006 found that soy products could be beneficial for cardiovascular and overall health, thanks to their high levels of polyunsaturated fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and low levels of saturated fat. Here are two soy recipes to help you get started: Soybean Manchurian and Soya Tikki Chaat

Sweet Potatoes

This root vegetable is not only a healthier alternative to potatoes but also a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. You can get up to 89 milligrams calcium from one cup boiled sweet potato. They also make for a good pre-workout snack, providing your body with a much-needed boost. Get creative by trying out these recipes: Sweet Potato Frittatas and Sweet Potato Tarts

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