How to Get Enough Calcium Without Dairy

How to get calcium without dairy and why this might be a healthier option

When our third child started to eat solid foods, we found out that he had a pretty severe dairy allergy and I was concerned he wouldn’t get enough calcium without dairy. He was born 5 weeks premature (that whole story and my other birth stories here) and I found out that allergies are more common with babies born early or who are given certain medications at birth.

We were only consuming organic and raw sources of dairy like grass fed butter, raw milk or raw milk yogurt, and raw aged cheeses, but he wouldn’t be able to eat these foods. I was still nursing him and it became evident that I would also not be able to eat these foods while nursing.

I found that when I cut dairy, I also felt much better, lost weight more quickly and had smoother skin. On one hand, I hated finding that out (because I loved cheese) but on the other hand, I was glad to find out that my body didn’t tolerate dairy well so I could start addressing this problem.

At the same time, I had a relative who was dealing with reduced bone density and wanted to make sure that baby and I were still getting enough calcium without dairy. (side note: we have mostly reversed my son’s dairy allergy since this time but the information is still important)

How Much Calcium Do We Need?

I considered taking a calcium supplement but decided to research it first since I was still nursing. I was glad I did, because what I found surprised me.

I found that many people are allergic or intolerant to dairy. Some estimate said that as many as 6 out of 10 people may have some reaction to dairy. If over half the population may respond negatively in some way, it made me wonder about the biological need for dairy anyway.

Turns out, there are many foods that are just as high (if not higher) in calcium than dairy products, I just had a firmly entrenched idea that dairy=calcium thanks to all the “Got Milk” ads I saw growing up.

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and while we associate it with bone and tooth health, it is also important for muscle development, healthy blood pressure, and skin health.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1,000 mg for men and 1,200 mg for women per day but it turns out that it isn’t really as simple as that. Not all calcium that we consume is absorbed and the amount we need to consume daily varies depending on the source of the calcium.

For instance, about 32-33% of the calcium from dairy products is absorbed. Our body actually needs 300-400 mg of calcium per day, but with dairy, this means we need to consume close to the RDA to get that level with the reduced absorption rate.

Other food sources are more absorbable like bone broth, dark leafy greens, fish with bones, and even carrots. Some foods like spinach, which is often suggested as a good dietary source of calcium, are only 5% absorbable, which make them great for other nutrients but not a good source of calcium.

Bottom line: We need about 300-400 milligrams of absorbed calcium per day from food sources and not much more than that.

Too Much Calcium?

Overzealous marketing from the dairy industry may have us believe that calcium is a wonder-mineral (it is) and that the more we consume the better (not so much), but in this case, the dose makes the poison.

Consuming too much calcium can lead to increased risk of kidney stones, heart disease and more. Calcium is vital for regulating the body’s pH, but not in the acid/alkaline balance way that has been popular.

As Chris Kresser explains, supplemental intake of calcium can be problematic, but dietary intake of calcium is considered safe and healthy:

“Beyond being ineffective for bone health, calcium supplements are associated with some pretty serious health risks. Studies on the relationship between calcium and cardiovascular disease (CVD) suggest that dietary intake of calcium protects against heart disease, but supplemental calcium may increase the risk. A large study of 24,000 men and women aged 35–64 years published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2012 found that those who used calcium supplements had a 139% greater risk of heart attack during the 11-year study period, while intake of calcium from food did not increase the risk. A meta-analysis of studies involving more than 12,000 participants also published in BMJ found that calcium supplementation increases the risk of heart attack by 31%, stroke by 20% and death from all causes by 9%.”

To be safe, calcium should be consumed from food sources and not synthetic supplements or artificially fortified foods. Foods like orange juice, breakfast cereals and many breads and crackers are fortified with calcium and also contribute to calcium consumption (though I don’t recommend consuming these foods).

Confounding Factors

Calcium consumption also doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Just because calcium enters the body, doesn’t mean it is correctly used by the body.

Vitamin D and Magnesium are both necessary for the body to use calcium and without these, calcium won’t be absorbed correctly. One study showed that people who were deficient in Vitamin D only absorbed 14% of the calcium from food while those with adequate Vitamin D levels absorbed 58% of the calcium from their food.

Many natural food sources of calcium (like fatty fish with bones in) are also good sources of Vitamin D which is another reason the calcium in these foods is more absorbable.

Calcium and magnesium are both needed by the body but  must be in proper ratio to be used correctly. Our modern diet is often very high in calcium from synthetic sources and low in sources of magnesium.

The body uses magnesium to convert vitamin D into its active form so that it can be used in calcium absorption. Magnesium is also used in the creation of the hormone calcitonin. This hormone is vital for bone health and and keeping calcium in the bones and not the blood stream, lowering the likelihood of osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis, heart attack and kidney stones.

Vitamin K is also important for calcium synthesis. It helps keep calcium in bones and out of arteries and muscles. K1 is found in dark leafy greens like Kale, Collard, and Swiss Chard, and Vitamin K2 (also called Activator X by Dr. Weston A. Price) is found in grass fed (but not grain fed) butter, chicken livers and natto.

A diet high in phytic acid (found in grains) can also inhibit proper calcium uptake and use in the body.

Consuming calcium without magnesium, Vitamin K and Vitamin D is at best ineffective and possibly dangerous.

Food Sources of Calcium

Dairy is the most common food source of calcium but by no means the only food source or even the best food source.

There are many nutritious and dairy-free foods that are an excellent source of calcium. Some great real-food budget-friendly options for getting enough calcium are:

Bone Broth

Bone broth is an excellent source of calcium and many other minerals. Here is my tutorial on a budget-friendly and simple way to make bone broth and consume it daily. (If you’re looking for a store bought version, I recommend this one!) Broth also contains the amino acids proline and glycine which are important for digestion, skin health, nervous system health and wound healing. They are needed for production of glutathione, which plays a protective role in the body.

Broth can be made from chicken, beef, lamb, bison or even fish bones for just pennies a cup and is a great way to add calcium to the diet. Boiling and simmering the bones over long periods of time allows the calcium and other minerals to dissolve in to the water. From this article:

“Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.”

Even a tiny amount of calcium from bones is easily absorbed, making broth one of the best sources of calcium.

Fish with Bones

Fish with bones are an excellent source of calcium. An easy and inexpensive way to consume fish with bones is in the form of canned fish like salmon (with bones) and sardines (with bones). The bones become soft during the canning process so they can be easily chewed and consumed with the fish.

I know, I know… you might have just wrinkled your nose in disgust at the thought of sardines, but as Diane of Balanced Bites so perfectly put it:

“Y’all need to put your big boy or girl pants on, get a tin of wild sardines, grab some sea salt and lemon or hot sauce, and DIG IN.”

One six-ounce serving of canned wild salmon has over 110 milligrams of absorbable calcium and canned sardines rank about the same (or higher). Since these foods are also a good source of Vitamin D, they enhance digestion of the calcium and make it more usable.

Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are another great dietary source of calcium, though some are better than others. Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Bok Choy, Kale and Broccoli all ranked really well for being absorbable sources of calcium while spinach and seaweed ranked low on the list.

Dark leafy greens are also great sources of folate, Vitamins A, C, E and K and B-vitamins. Jonathan Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth, is fond of saying that if you make no other changes in your diet, you will see positive results just from adding a few extra servings of green leafy vegetables a day.

Other Foods

There are many other food sources of calcium including:

  • Figs
  • Beans (if tolerated)
  • blackstrap molasses
  • Almonds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Oysters
  • Seafood

Eating probiotic rich foods (like sauerkraut, water kefir, kimchee, etc) will help the body digest all foods and assimilate more nutrients. Optimizing Vitamin D levels will also help the body use calcium more efficiently and improve digestion.

How To Get Enough Calcium Without Dairy

The bottom line is that those who for health or personal reasons choose not to consume dairy can absolutely get enough calcium. In many cases, non-dairy food sources of calcium can be healthier since they are also sources of other vitamins and minerals.

Those (like me) who don’t consume dairy should be conscious of the need for real food sources of calcium and make an effort to include foods like broth, fish with bones, green leafy vegetables and other healthy sources of fats, protein and vegetables as part of a varied diet.

Do you eat dairy? Do you consume these other foods? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I was suffering from GERD, and after too long taking the PPI’s that didn’t really help me much I realized I needed to improve my diet. I now eat all the leafy greens I can grow. I especially like and consume lots of collards. I also eat homemade yogurt and other lacto-fermented foods. I cut out most wheat, which was my worst trigger for GERD, and coffee. I am now almost completely GERD free–I need to completely quit the homemade whole wheat bread. I have just started making bone broth, and I look forward to the benefits I will gain from it. There is no doubt in my mind that I am finally consuming the right kinds of foods. This is a way of preparing, preserving, and eating foods that my grandparents enjoyed. (My mother thought margarine was better than butter and eschewed fermented food in favor of canned foods–she hated vegetables anyway.) It was a challenge for me to finally get this right.

  2. Thank you for this article! I live in a village in Papua New Guinea and don’t have access to fresh dairy! I am 8 weeks pregnant and have been trying to make sure I am getting the right amount of calcium from good sources. I really appreciate the help. Your other articles have also been very helpful and I’m taking full advantage of all the wonderful coconuts we have around here! Thanks again.

  3. Great post! Throughout my pregnancy I’ve made sure to consume leafy greens, sardines, and bone broth to get my calcium since I don’t do dairy. My question is though, how did you heal your child’s dairy allergy? Also I would be really interested in a future post about preventing leaky gut in babies (my baby is due any day). Thanks!

    • I am extremely interested as well. My daughter has many severe allergies and is 2 with bo improvement so far.

  4. I have found that the best way to eat sardines is mixed in with a can of salmon or tuna. No one is the wiser.

    • I’d much rather just eat sardines than any other canned fish, but then again, I have always been a little odd 🙂

      • I love sardines from a can. I have them for breakfast, 3 x times a week, and pair them with half an avocado, sprinkled with salt and lime juice – never thought about using the lime on the sardines as well!

    • I love, love this idea. thank you!

  5. Great information. I am very curious how you reversed your son’s dairy allergy. My son and I also have reactions to dairy.

    • I am interested as well. My son is sensitive to dairy and allergic to tree nuts and sesame seeds. Has anyone seen an article on reversing allergies?

    • Did you find a solution? I just discovered that I can drink raw, unpasteurized milk without any ill side effects (stomach cramps and bloating). Not a true allergy, but it definitely stopped me from drinking milk and limiting my dairy consumption. I am blessed to live in a state where I can purchase it.

  6. There’s a lot of great information here! Thanks for getting it out there!

  7. We make a calcium supplement by grinding the eggshells from our pastured eggs, and adding a bit to smoothies and such.

    Any thoughts on whether this counts as food-based or supplementation, healthwise? 😀

    • I was wondering the same. We raise our own chickens & while I usually feed them back their shells I’d heard of people grinding them up & using them as a calcium supplement. I wonder how effective that is?

  8. The question I have is how much of those foods should we eat on a daily basis? 1 cup of bone broth? or 1 can of sardines? or 5 cups of green leafy veggies? or all of the above? Thanks!

  9. Hi,
    I would like to say that I read an article by Kaayla T. Daniel that stated that most bone broths contain very little minerals including calcium. She reports it’s acutally the hydrolized collagen/ gelatin that helps build strong bones. So it might not be accurate to say the bone broth is a good source of calcium although it is probably still good for bone health.

    • Thanks for commenting on this. The only study of bone broth I know about (and it’s probably the one Daniels cited) came to this conclusion, too. The researchers were actually surprised at how little calcium leached from the bones and that increasing the amount of vinegar added to the broth made little difference in the calcium leaching.

  10. Thank you, this articul. Our 20 month old so has life threatening dairy, egg and cashew allergies.

    I’m very, very interested in what you may have done to help revers your son’s dairy allergy. At what age did he grow out of it?

    • The new Australian study says that Probiotics can cure nut allergies. You should look it up and try to find a doctor to help with that. Best of luck. -M

  11. Just because somebody cannot tolerate dairy due to health conditions of the person and digestive system. That the person it’s dealing with . I still believe dairy it’s one of the most nutritional foods out there and best. Absorbable calcium source dairy has a lot and a lot more minerals vitamins perfect source of amino acids great source of enzyme probiotics i’m talking about raw grass fed dairy I think it would be much wiser to find out why we cannot tolerate dairy instead of removing it and demonizing it and also making a Facebook page and even website from . That’s just my comment

  12. I know my own bone broth would be the best but sometimes life is hectic, (my youngest has special needs). I have a wonderful smoothie recipe that includes organic blueberries, chia seeds, several kinds of nuts and seeds and almond milk. I’ve added my own ingredients to this recipe, cinnamon and beef gelatin in order to get their benefits. This smoothie carries me beyond lunch time should I be unable to stop at that time to eat. I’ve been slowly incorporating other healthy choices not only for good health but to keep up with the demands of raising my boy. I very much enjoyed your part on the thyroid interviews and have employed some of your recommendations. Thanks for posting all this wonderful knowledge you’ve found, making it easier for us to go to one place for so much help!

    • I’m so glad you enjoy my work! Thanks for reading!

      • What do you think about the Natural Calm magnesium powder with calcium?

  13. Hey Katie,
    I recommend your website regularly. Thanks for all your efforts in getting solid information out to people. I was very interested in your link to the article about calcium containing foods, but alas when. I went to the link. I found that they wanted $39.95 for the article. Can you share that information with us?

    Thanks!
    Tracy

    • You can create your own list by going to nutritiondata.com and selecting Tools > Nutrient Search Tool.

  14. I am very interested in hearing how you reversed your child’s dairy allergy. My son has a severe allergy to dairy and peanuts; I have been moving ever so slowly towards the GAPS diet in a hopeful attempt to heal his leaky gut. I would LOVE to hear what you did to help your child outgrow the dairy allergy!! That’s amazing!

  15. I too appreciate your work. Your time and effort saves me time and effort. I am grateful for all this abundance of information on many things that hit home health)wise. Keep up the good work.

      • How did you know your little one had diary issues? What were his symptoms? When did it start? I have a four month old that still has bad gas and mucussy stools and can’t figure out what is going on.

        • Those were some of his early symptoms, then he had skin reactions and worse digestive problems

  16. Yet another fantastic article Katie! I have learned so much from your blog 🙂

    A good tip I found was to cook my fresh sardines in the pressure cooker – that way i could eat the bones and avoid the problem of wondering whether the cans were lined with anything that could leach or if the can was soldered with lead etc….

    Bone broth is the best food ever too! 😀

    • Food cans are usually lined with BPA, an estrogen mimic. Wild Planet’s cans are BPA-free, though.

  17. Great article! I am very interested in hearing about how you helped reverse your child’s dairy allergy. My son is allergic to dairy and peanuts and I am always looking for anything I can do to help heal his little immune system. Thanks!

  18. Bone broth is great but there is a trick to getting even more calcium into your broth. Take your bones (beef, chicken, pork, venison, etc.) place in a pot and cover with water. Add 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider vinegar and let set for 30 minutes before cooking. There is no vinegar flavor in the finished broth but the vinegar helps the bones release more calcium. If you are going to do the work it helps to get the most benefit you can.

  19. Even if we eat 100% organic, most people do not receive all the nutrients their bodies need for optimal health. Our soils are becoming more and more depleted. Just adding N, P, K to our soils is not enough! Our bodies thrive on so much more. It’s impossible for most people to get all their nutrients from diet alone.

    • XWhat’s your supplementation regimen, if you don’t mind revealing it?

  20. One of the articles I read claimed bone broth wasn’t a good source of calcium, but they were not cooking the broth with vinegar for extended periods of time.

  21. How did you reverse your son’s lactose intolerance? I became lactose intolerant 2 years ago, and it’s pretty extreme – not even the pills with the enzyme to digest the lactose help. But I’d love to be able to have raw milk etc, so I’d be really interested to hear how you helped your son eat dairy again!

  22. Regarding Lactose Intolerance, Have you tried replenishing your gut flora with a probiotic drink like milk kefir? I have heard that not only does the kefiring process break down up to 95% of the lactose, but that the stomach lining can be healed and any causative inflammation reduced, as well as repopulating the beneficial gut bacteria by the drinking of kefir. And that for some people with milk issues, those issues cleared up after commencing a period of kefir drinking, so when the intestinal balance was restored, they were able to tolerate milk without issue.

    A variety of nutrient-dense natural food sources is always a good thing. We can tend to get pretty narrow in our food selection and form small-minded habits so we don’t even register something as a food available and profitable for our use when we see it.

    Thank you, Katie, for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. Bless your continued efforts.

  23. My 3 year old drinks her smoothie everyday which I pack full of goodies as an easy ay to hide all the things she should be eating but doesn’t. I use coconut milk as the base with green pastures fish oil, fruit and greens. I assume there is enough Vit D in the fish oil but if I you think I should also add more please let me know. My question is for the greens, I want to make sure she is getting enough calcium and see that Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Bok Choy & Kale are all highly absorbable options. Can yo tell me if all of these are safe options raw in her smoothie?

    Thank you,
    Denise

  24. Hi Katie, I thought cans and tins leach BPA or other endocrine disruptors into the food. Am I misinformed?

    • That is a good question. There is a lot of debate on this. I’ve been ordering some organic fish canned in olive oil and it is supposed to have an organic non-BPA coating but it is worth researching. I’m putting it on the list to research and post about.

  25. Hi was just wondering if you could please help with guidance on how much of these calcium rich foods should be consumed each day as I am finding conflicting information. We have a history if osteoporosis in our family so I am a little concerned about giving up my calcium supplements until I know for sure I’d be getting enough with what I eat. I think I do well but I’d like to be sure.

    • Supplements are of questionable value. Natural form beats man processed all the time. A German study claims calcium supplements can increase risk of heart attack by like 85%!!! So vegetable and fish calcium is better I think. Also might not t have gallstones as likely, but just my thoughts. Good luck.

  26. Thanks for re-running this post, Katie. It comes just a day after I learned my neighbor’s daughter’s doctor put her on antacids as a calcium supplement. I tried very hard not to go ballistic on the mom (she’s a friend, after all), but I made a good case for why antacids were a very bad idea.

  27. Regarding the quote from Chris Kresser, I can’t help but wonder whether he considered a lack of awareness on researchers’ part (not to mention those studied) about the role of vit. K as being the common denominator in the poor outcomes of those studied.

  28. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for this article 🙂 My question is, are chicken broth and bone broth the same thing? If not, is chicken broth still somewhat beneficial? Are brands like Pacific or Imagine good sources for this? Thanks!

    • Store bought broth is typically not the same quality. Chicken broth is a type of broth and if you make it home, it is a great option.

  29. Bone Broth is NOT a good source of calcium. Furthermore, don’t consume dairy for calcium….consume fermented full fat dairy (like yogurt, raw milk kefir, etc) for the superior, bioavailable fat soluble vitamins and for good gut bacteria.

  30. I use fresh cow or goat milk as well as my own yogurt and at times kefir. I make a liquid calcium supplement by soaking 2 fresh-pastured chicken eggs-no soy. Place 2 fresh – well washed eggs in a qt jar. Cover with organic apple cider vinegar–I use Braggs. Place a clean cloth over the top and refrigerate for a couple of days. Lightly stir the egg solution – so as not to break the eggs. They will foam and shells begin to break down as calcium is absorbed. Carefully fish – now very soft eggs out of container. You can use about a tsp or two a day. I mix with organic blackstrap molasses. Enjoy

  31. Love this info, however, we are in a fix. Did you see: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/bone-broth-calcium/ ? Bone broth is not a good source of calcium…

    So many people I trust are advocating the elimination of dairy, but it is SO hard to practically get enough calcium without it.

    1) It is too expensive and probably not good for my whole family to eat wild caught sardines with bones every day (if they even would).

    2) For us to get enough calcium from dark green veggies, it would take a huge amount of organic greens (esp for a family the equivalent to four adults) – again, expensive. Remember, there are compounds in some of the leafy greens that prevent calcium absorption, so you have to take that into account. Even Dr. Wahls with her 9 cups of produce a day testifies that that alone will not give you enough calcium.

    3) Calcium supplements have not been proven safe, even with vit D, K, and Mg.

    4) The calcium in almond/coconut milk and fortified OJ is effectively a calcium supplement.

    *** Will you demonstrate a week’s worth (or even a few day’s worth) of how we can do this? I tried for over a year and we gradually, increasingly suffered from lack of Ca (high PTH and all that goes with it, and then a general breakdown of other body processes). We felt better once we added it back in as all those issues began to resolve, but we still have intolerance to deal with, so a solution without dairy would be wonderful.

    • I would like to know as well, and would love to hear from you Shelley if you find an answer! I’m nursing my severely allergic son who cannot have any milk, and I eliminated all dairy from my diet about 6 months ago. I had been doing ok with a combination of greens/sardines/nuts, with a small amount of calcium fortified almond milk (because I start to feel terrible if I don’t have that) added in, but I just found out today that he is allergic to all tree nuts and now I am reduced to just eating greens and sardines to try and meet my daily calcium needs. This feels like an impossible task! Everyone always mentions how much healthier they feel after eliminating milk from their diet, but I’ve never felt worse in my life.

    • Shelley, I’ve been trying to figure this out too. I think egg shells might be the answer for an affordable, non-dairy, absorbable form or calcium.

  32. Thank you for the wealth of information you share on your site!!
    I read this article because I am too, concerned about not getting enough calcium. From what I know, it’s only my son who is sensitive to dairy, the rest of us (hubby, 4yo, 11yo) eat fermented dairy products. Still, I don’t think even we get enough.
    My son, 20months old, definitely does not.
    He is growing, and I am concerned daily.
    Eventhough I understand that greens and sardines contain this beneficial mineral, I can’t make him eat (enough of) it. Tried and keep trying but not that much progress. Doctors don’t get this whole issue so I am kind of on my own here.
    Any more in the topic or practical suggestions would be so appreciated by us, worried mothers. Thank you for al you do!

  33. I was wondering how much calcium is in a cup of bone broth and ran into this article for healthy home economist. It turns out bone broth is not a good source of calcium, but is still good to take for the collagen that supports bone development.

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/bone-broth-calcium/

  34. I saw several posts asking about you child’s dairy allergy and how you handled this. Do you have a post somewhere with that information or some tips that you could pass on? Thanks so much!

  35. Great post, I’ve recently been feeling sick after dairy and considering cutting it out, so this was a great read and so infomative! I was concerned i wouldn’t get enough calcium but knowing that leafy greens and almonds will help me out is a relief.

  36. How much bone broth should one consume daily?

  37. I have a question about the blackstrap molasses. I am wanting to increase both my iron and calcium levels, and blackstrap molasses is appealing because it contains relatively high amounts of each in a reasonably low dose. I have heard, however, that calcium and iron, if consumed together, block each others absorption. So I am worried that the calcium and iron in the molasses will essentially cancel each other out (thereby defeating the purpose). Can anyone comment on this, please?

  38. I am dairy intolerant and follow the AIP diet. My toddler is dairy intolerant and has been drinking fortified rice milk instead of dairy. Obviously I would like an alternative to fortified foods. I could easily make her rice milk, I’m thinking of using bone broth instead of water to increase the calcium. Any idea how much calcium is in 8 oz bone broth? How do you make sure your dairy intolerant child gets enough calcium? Also, do you give your children supplements for Vitamin D and omega 3? What brands?
    Thanks!

    • I give him bone broth, canned sardines/salmon with bones in and green veggies for the calcium (and eat them myself).

  39. Hello! Great article 😉
    I’m curious as to what supplements (calcium) were used in the research that says it can be harmful. I know that most supplements in general can be harmful due to being synthetic, or not from food. I’m out traveling and volunteering on organic farms with my son (in exchange for meals + room and board) and so far I haven’t been fed many of the non dairy calcium sources at all. I used to consume lots of bone broth. I have read up on angstrom minerals being great sources due to the size of the molecule and that your Body will only absorb what it needs (no matter how much you take) and will dispose of the rest. I also have found studies showing very minute amounts of calcium in bone broth. Has anyone had their calcium levels tested through lab testing? If so, what are you eating? I’m curios to anyone’s thoughts or suggestions about my situation. My biggest concern is that I have a two year old and it’s my responsibility to make sure he gets all necessary nutrients.

  40. My son as well as a friend’s had dairy allergies. Mine ate a very healthy diet occasionally including yogurt. My friend used goats milk, which is supposed to be much closer to human milk. Both our kids outgrew the allergy in elementary school.

  41. Thank you for this article. I have been in a pickle over eating dairy for a few weeks now. I was dairy free for a couple years, and out of nowhere was craving it with intensity. I got good varieties of yogurt and kefir (cow and goat) and i can’t even explain how good and right it felt to eat dairy, literally out of NOWHERE. I never was much of a dairy person. A couple weeks later, I found out I am expecting (my first)! I want to do things correctly and have so much in my head against dairy (and there’s so much against raw dairy during pregnancy) that I’m confused!! Would you go with what your body is craving or focus on adding even more foods that provide a similar nutritional profile?
    On a side note, I do eat bone broth, lots of greens, etc. Also, I am experiencing no other food cravings.
    Your blog has provided so much guidance for me on my path to health, I really can’t thank you enough for all your research and experience you share.

    • Congrats on your pregnancy 🙂

      I do try to follow my body when it comes to healthy foods during pregnancy and also to make sure I am consuming enough nutrients to nourish the baby. I’d check with a doc or midwife- a prenatal might also help. The dairy craving could be a calcium or Vitamin K thing, or any number of things, but I do also find I want dairy more when pregnant.

  42. Hi Katie,

    In your post, you claim that “[o]ur body actually needs 300-400 mg of calcium per day”, not the 1 [g] – 1.2 [g] RDA value. Do you have a source for this 300 – 400 [mg] range? I suspect that this is the WHO recommendation, but I would like to be sure. Thanks!

    • The issue is that the research underlying both the USDA and the WHO calcium recommendations is very “squishy.” The Paleo Sherpa devoted 2 blog posts of a 3-part series on calcium to this issue. Search for “Paleo Sherpa” and “The calcium you keep” to find those two parts.