The dairy industry spends a lot of marketing dollars convincing us that their products are the best calcium rich foods out there, but dairy actually isn’t the best source of nutrients for bone health.
Yes, dairy products are rich in calcium, but they also contain animal proteins that are actually bad for your bones. Calcium also isn’t the only player when it comes to bone health. Vitamin K – a nutrient found mostly in those dark, leafy greens – is critical to bone health. Dairy products do not contain vitamin K.
Another often-overlooked vitamin when it comes to healthy bones is Vitamin D. You can get vitamin D from fortified dairy products, but you can also get “the sunshine vitamin” by just spending a few minutes outdoors each day without sunscreen.
Greens like kale, collard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens give you a healthy dose of calcium plus that important vitamin K. Eat your greens outside, and you can soak up some vitamin D at the same time! Boom!
Not sure how to prepare those dark and leafies? Check out some of these delicious ideas to make these calcium-rich foods as delicious as they are healthy:
- 10 Healthy Kale Recipes
- Collard Greens: Eat ‘Em Raw, Just Like Kale!
- Southern-Style Turnip Greens
- Green Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard and Lemon
- Sauteed Mustard Greens
The infographic below takes a look at some common dark, leafy greens and how much calcium and vitamin K are in a one-cup serving of each of these calcium rich foods.
Do you drink milk for bone health? Would you consider one of these plant-based calcium rich foods as a substitute?
More on Calcium and Healthy Bones:
- Eating Vegan: Where do you get your calcium?
- Uncovering the Causes of Calcium Deficiency
- Got calcium?