Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

calcium sources for milk allergies

Allergic or intolerant to milk, we have information on Non-dairy Milk and calcium sources for milk allergies.  Calcium is an essential mineral for humans. In fact, it is the most prominent mineral in our whole body, with almost all of it stored in our bones and teeth. When we were younger we always heard that we need calcium to help build and maintain strong bones, but we need it for all stages in life, even adults need it daily! Calcium is needed to make our muscles contract and move, to send nerve signals to and from our brain, to help blood vessels move blood around our body, and to release hormones and enzymes that effect a lot of bodily processes! Calcium has a big job, so we want to make sure our body gets enough every day.

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non-dairy oat milk

Non-dairy Milk

If you are looking for non-dairy milk to drink and use in recipes, here is are some details that will help you navigate the grocery store to find a milk alternative. There are a variety of 2-3 ingredient plant-based milk alternatives available.  Here are some of our favorites:

  • Coconut Milk such as this one from So Delicious* (although less calcium compared to cows milk)
  • MALK Almond Milk (although it spoils quickly)
  • MALK Cashew Milk (although it spoils quickly)
  • Laird Superfood Creamer* (good for cooking)
  • Ripple non-dairy milk is more comparable to milk
  • Elmhurst plant based milks (nuts and water or oats and water)
  • Trader Joe’s organic coconut milk
  • 365 Oatmilk
  • Califia Almond Milk
  • Native Forest organic simple coconut milk
  • Forager Cashew milk
  • Forager Oat milk
  • Three trees almond milk
  • Joi Almond Milk Base* (almonds is the only ingredient, you can add your own water and vanilla extract if desired)
  • Target’s Simply Almond Milk (it does have natural flavors but doesn’t have other additives or thickeners
  • Homemade almond milk
    • You can also soak some almonds and make your own almond milk. You may want to invest in a nut bag to strain the nuts (available on amazon).

Califia Almond non dairy milk

Calcium sources for milk allergies

calcium sources for milk allergies

Sources of Calcium for milk allergies

One of the key-stone sources is milk, yogurt, and other dairy products. We see a lot of advertisements like the, “Got Milk” , ads which promote drinking milk to get your daily dose of with bone-nourishing mineral. But, milk isn’t the only place where we can get calcium from our diet.

In addition, according to research done by the National Institute of Health (NIH), approximately 65% of the world population has some degree of lactose intolerance. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance can be abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea. Some people experience symptoms within 30 minutes of eating dairy, and for others symptoms can be more delayed. Lactose intolerance can also happen in children, and even infants when milk is one of their main sources of nutrition! There are lactose-free milks, and supplements such as lactaid pills (which have the enzyme to digest lactose!) which can help people better tolerate milk.

However, even with lactose-free products available, some people may wish to explore dairy-free sources of calcium. The good news is, there are many sources to choose from!

In a hurry? Watch Registered Dietitian, Kait Fortunato, give a summary on Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium.

YouTube video

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium for milk allergies

Kale and dark leafy greens have calcium

As Kait mentioned in the video above, there are many non-dairy sources of calcium to choose from.

  • Dark leafy greens (kale, collard greens, bok choy, and turnip greens)
  • Canned fish packed with bones (salmon, sardines)
  • Soy beans and soy products (tofu, tempeh, soy yogurt)
  • Nuts
  • Calcium-fortified juices, cereals, and plant-based milks

Don’t Forget About Vitamin D with calcium sources for milk allergies

calcium sources for milk allergies

Vitamin D for improving calcium sources for milk allergies

It is important to remember that in order to absorb calcium, or body needs adequate amounts of vitamin D. As humans, we get the majority of our vitamin D from sun light. But there are a few food sources we can focus on too!

  • Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel)
  • Vitamin D-fortified juice, soy milk, and cereals
  • Egg yolks


What is your favorite non-dairy source of calcium? Leave us a comment below!

Blog updated April 2020

A Dietitian for Every Condition

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Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients.  Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and  Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.