The Top 13 NON-DAIRY Calcium Rich Foods

For decades, the milk industry has been telling us that we need to drink our milk lest our bones become osteoporotic and shatter like fine crystal.

  • Luckily for them, the advertising campaigns have been wildly successful.
  • Unfortunately for us, the ads may be a slight exaggeration of the truth.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, preventing osteoporosis depends on two things:

  1. Making the strongest, densest bones possible during the first 30 years of life and
  2. Limiting the amount of bone loss in adulthood.

There are a number of lifestyle factors that can help with the latter:

  • Getting regular exercise, especially weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.
  • Getting adequate vitamin D, whether through diet, exposure to sunshine, or supplements.
  • Consuming enough calcium to reduce the amount the body has to borrow from bone.
  • Consuming adequate vitamin K, found in green, leafy vegetables.
  • Not getting too much preformed vitamin A.

And even if we ignore all of these other bone-building factors in our search for strong, healthy bones, should we believe the milk industry that their products are the best way to get our calcium?

Because for a lot of us, milk is not our best dietary friend.

Did you know that….

  • 90 percent of Asians,
  • 70 percent of blacks and Native Americans,
  • 50 percent of Hispanics,
  • 15 percent of people of Northern European descent

…are lactose intolerant.

Which means that 30 to 120 minutes after consuming milk and milk products, they can expect to experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • clogged sinuses
  • headache
  • joint ache
  • brain fog
  • itchiness

Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

So how do our lactose intolerant friends get their calcium?

Glad you asked

Introducing The Top 13 NON-DAIRY Calcium Rich Foods

  1. Collards– 1 cup boiled and drained – 357 mg calcium
  2. Rhubarb – 1 cup cooked with sugar – 348 mg calcium
  3. Sardines – 3 oz / 85 grams – 325 mg calcium
  4. Spinach – 1 cup boiled and drained – 291 mg calcium
  5. Turnip Greens – 1 cup boiled and drained – 249 mg calcium
  6. Blackeye peas – 1 cup cooked – 211 mg calcium
  7. Kale – 1 cup boiled and drained – 179 mg calcium
  8. Soybeans, 1 cup boiled – 175 mg calcium
  9. Cabbage, chinese (pak-choi) – 1 cup boiled and drained – 158 mg calcium
  10. Beans, baked, canned, with pork and tomato sauce – 1 cup – 142 mg calcium
  11. Okra – 1 cup boiled and drained – 136 mg calcium
  12. Shrimp – 3 oz / 85 grams canned – 123 mg calcium
  13. Crab – 1 cup canned – 123 mg calcium


To look at a complete listing of the top calcium rich foods, click on the link below.


  • USDA – Top Calcium Foods


  1. Hi – I was just looking for info on good non-dairy calcium sources and I came across some conflicting information. The Vegetarian Resource Group says that oxalic acid present in rhubarb, spinach, beet greens and chard binds with calcium to make it unavailable, and that therefore those foods should not be considered good calcium sources.
    Something to look into. Thanks.

  2. You might want to include in your header that these choices are also good for vegans. There are more and more people not eating animals these days

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