Milk also contains proteins, the minerals phosphorus, potassium, zinc and iodine, and vitamins A, B2 (riboflavin) and B12 (cobalamin).
As a child, I drank a lot of milk. It was delivered in pint bottles to our steps each morning. I also drank a third of a pint before going to class as part of the free school milk program. I always like milk, which makes it easier to get enough calcium.
Of course, many people don’t drink milk For several reasons. The good news is that you can get all the calcium and other nutrients you need from other foods.
What foods contain calcium?
Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium, while non-dairy foods like tofu, canned fish with bones, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds contain varying amounts.
Some foods are fortified with added calcium, including some breakfast cereals and soy, rice, oat, and nut “milks.” Check their food label nutritional information panels to see how much calcium they contain.
However, it is harder for your body to absorb calcium from non-dairy foods. Although your body improves to absorb plant-based calciumand also when your total calcium intake is lowthe overall effect means that if you’re not consuming dairy, you may need to eat more calcium-containing foods to maximize your bone health.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
Depending on your age and gender, the daily calcium needs range from 360 milligrams per day to over 1,000 mg for teens and older women.
A 250ml cup of cow’s milk contains about 300mg of calcium, which is equivalent to a standard serving. This the same amount is in:
- 200 grams of yogurt
- 250 ml plant milk enriched with calcium
- 100 grams canned pink salmon with bones
- 100 grams of firm tofu
- 115 grams of almonds.
The recommended number of daily servings dairy and non-dairy alternatives vary:
children have between 1 and 3.5 servings per day, depending on age and gender
women between the ages of 19 and 50 should have 2.5 servings a day, then 4 servings when they are over 50
men between the ages of 19 and 70 should have 2.5 servings a day, then 3.5 servings when they are over 70.
What other nutrients do you need?
If you don’t drink milk, the challenge is getting enough nutrients to eat a balanced diet. Here’s what you need and why.
When might you need to avoid milk?
The reasons why people don’t drink milk ranging from taste, personal preferences, animal welfare or environmental concerns. Or it may be due to health problems or intolerance, allergy and acne problems.