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11 vegetarian calcium rich foods for those allergic to milk

 11 vegetarian calcium rich foods for those allergic to milk

Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life, because it maintains bone, teeth, nerve and muscle health, and also helps with blood clotting. Given the sharp rise in the number of people allergic to milk, what are some of the vegetarian calcium rich foods that will make your diet balanced and versatile, and what does calcium do in the body?


According to The Food allergy Research and education up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, and cow's milk is the most common food allergy in infants and young children. So, it is important to know what are some vegetarian calcium rich foods, because despite common belief, this mineral is widely available in many non- dairy sources.

Calcium has been reported to reduce risks of developing ovarian cancer, help teeth retention, it is critical in the mitochondria of brain cells, and its better if ingested from natural sources instead of manipulated supplements, which have been linked to kidney stones.

What exactly does Calcium do in the body ?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and 99% of it is found in bones and teeth. But, calcium also participates in many other crucial bodily processes. Therefore, it’s paramount that your diet is rich in calcium. Some scientifically proven activities of calcium in the body are as follows:

1) Bones/teeth

Calcium regulates parathyroid function, which is responsible for bone health. This was demonstrated on a study in which 28 elderly women, found that high calcium intake could regulate parathyroid function and as a result reverse bone loss issues.

Calcium intake also has been shown to increase bone mineral density in children.

Researchers have found that there is a calcium sensing receptor (CaR) expressed in the parathyroid gland, kidney, bone, and cartilage, which provides a mechanism by which extracellular Ca2+ can regulate cell function, and they also found that CaR is expressed in developing teeth and may provide a mechanism by which these cells can respond to alterations in extracellular Ca2+ to regulate cell function and, ultimately, tooth formation.

2) Signal communication in the central nervous system

The communication of calcium signals between cells is known to be operative between neurons where these signals integrate intimately with electrical and chemical signal communication at synapses. Recently, it has become clear that glial cells also exchange calcium signals between each other in cultures and in brain slices. This communication pathway has received utmost attention since it is known that astrocytic calcium signals can be induced by neuronal stimulation and can be communicated back to the neurons to modulate synaptic transmission.

3) Muscles

Calcium regulates muscle contraction by triggering contraction through a reaction between two regulatory proteins called actin and myosin. The absence of calcium prevents thus interaction.

4) blood clotting

It is established that normal homeostasis requires free ionized calcium for the initial platelet plug formation and also for most events in the blood coagulation process. Calcium is essential for normal platelet adherence and for the subsequent spread of platelets on the sub endothelium, which is the connective tissue between the endothelium and inner elastic membrane in the intima of arteries.

How much calcium do we need?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg):

Birth to 6 months 200 mg

Infants 7–12 months 260 mg

Children 1–3 years 700 mg

Children 4–8 years 1,000 mg

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Children 9–13 years 1,300 mg

Teens 14–18 years 1,300 mg

Adults 19–50 years 1,000 mg

Adult men 51–70 years 1,000 mg

Adult women 51–70 years 1,200 mg

Adults 71 years and older 1,200 mg

Pregnant and breastfeeding teens 1,300 mg

Pregnant and breastfeeding adults 1,000mg

So, given how important calcium is for the functioning of the body, here are 11 vegetarian calcium rich foods for those allergic to milk, according to the The National Osteoporosis Foundation and the Vegetarians Network Resource.

1)Collard greens, frozen (8 oz which is equiv to 226.796 grams)
360 mg of calcium

2)Broccoli rabe (8 oz)
200 mg of calcium

3)Kale, frozen (8 oz)
180 mg of calcium

4)Bok choy, cooked, boiled (8 oz)
160 mg of calcium

5)Broccoli, fresh, cooked (8oz)
60 mg of calcium

6)2 Figs
65 mg of calcium

7)1 orange
55 mg of calcium

8) Tahini, 2 tablespoons
128 mg of calcium

9)¼ cup Almonds
94 mg of calcium

10)Garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup
80 mg of calcium

11) Black beans, cooked 1 cup
46 mg of calcium