How to Get Calcium Without Dairy


We often associate calcium exclusively with dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. This connection is so ingrained in our minds that the idea of getting enough calcium without consuming dairy may seem like a daunting task. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply choosing to reduce your dairy intake, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious alternatives.

At 3Natives, known for our vibrant acai bowls, wholesome breakfasts, and nutritious lunch offerings, we’re committed to showcasing how a dairy-free diet can be both calcium-rich and tantalizingly tasty. We’ll dive into the essential role calcium plays in our health, the non-dairy sources of calcium, and, most importantly, how to effortlessly incorporate calcium into every meal of the day – starting with your morning acai bowl.

The Role of Calcium in Health

Calcium is much more than a mineral; it’s a cornerstone of our health, playing a vital role in various bodily functions. For adults aged 19-50, the National Institutes of Health recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily to maintain bone health. Beyond bone strength and dental health, calcium is critical in muscle function, nerve signaling, and heartbeat regulation.

  1. Bone Health: Calcium is a major component of bone structure, providing strength and density. It’s particularly essential during childhood and adolescence when bones are rapidly developing, but this importance continues throughout your life.
  2. Muscle Function: Calcium is released when a nerve stimulates a muscle, helping the muscle fibers slide together and contract.
  3. Blood Clotting: Calcium plays a pivotal role in the blood clotting process, which is essential for healing wounds.
  4. Heart and Nerve Function: Calcium is involved in transmitting nerve signals and plays a role in heart muscle function, helping regulate heartbeats.

Calcium-Rich, Dairy-Free Foods

While dairy products are well-known sources of calcium, there are numerous dairy-free alternatives that can provide your recommended daily calcium needs. Whether you’ve chosen to go dairy-free due to lactose intolerance, a vegan lifestyle, allergies, or personal preference, rest assured that you can still maintain a calcium-rich diet.

Leafy Greens

Vegetables like kale, collard greens, and bok choy are not only rich in calcium but also in other essential nutrients like iron and fiber. With 52.3 mg of calcium in every cup of raw kale, a fresh kale salad can be a delicious way to increase calcium intake.

For an easy calcium boost, 3Natives offers a variety of items with kale as a primary ingredient, including our Going Green smoothie and three of our wellness shots. More of a spinach fan? Spinach is the base of all our salads, and one cup of raw spinach provides 29.7 mg of calcium.

Fortified Plant-Based Milks

Almond, oat, rice, and soy milks often have calcium added to them, making them comparable to cow’s milk in calcium content. They’re perfect and easy additions to your morning coffee or cereal, and all 3Natives smoothies use almond milk as a base ingredient!

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds are small but mighty sources of calcium.

  • Chia seeds (1 ounce): 179 mg
  • Almonds (1 ounce): 76 mg
  • Sunflower seeds (1 cup): 109 mg
  • Sesame seeds (1 tablespoon): 88 mg

Sprinkling these on salads, acai bowls, or yogurt can boost your calcium intake while adding a satisfying crunch to your meal. The easiest way to incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet? Visit your local 3Natives and explore our colorful acai bowl menu, which has many options containing chia seeds, almonds, and calcium-fortified granola.


Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are high in protein and a good source of calcium. Specifically, just one can of white beans contains 191 milligrams of calcium! Legumes are versatile ingredients that can be used in almost any recipe, from soups and salads to appetizers and main courses.


Being a soy-based product, tofu is high in protein and often contains calcium sulfate, making it an excellent choice for increasing calcium intake. You can add 105 mg of calcium to your meal with just one ounce of fried tofu!


Oranges and figs contain notable amounts of calcium and can be a sweet addition to your diet, perfect as snacks or dessert toppings. Plus, most orange juice is fortified with calcium, much like plant-based milk. One cup of fortified orange juice provides a whopping 349 mg of calcium, nearly 35% of your daily intake.

Dairy-Free Breakfast Options to Boost Calcium Intake

Starting your day with a calcium-rich breakfast is easy and delicious, especially with the options available at 3Natives. Our breakfast menu includes several dairy-free choices that are loaded with calcium:

  • Smoothies: All 3Natives smoothies are made with calcium-fortified almond milk, with multiple options, including kale, to add to your calcium intake and start your morning on the right note.
  • Wellness Shots: If you like starting your day with a bang, our wellness shots can wake you up and provide vital calcium, with options including kale and orange.
  • Coffee (Available at select locations): Need a caffeine fix in the morning? 3Natives can substitute dairy milk for almond milk in any coffee beverage to help you achieve a dairy-free diet and still access essential calcium.
  • Acai Bowls: While you can enjoy an acai bowl at any time of the day, our calcium-rich arsenal of delicious acai bowls is perfect for adding extra calcium to your breakfast.

Healthy, Calcium-Rich Lunches Without Dairy

For a midday meal that satisfies your hunger and boosts your calcium intake, look no further than 3Natives’ lunch menu. Our dairy-free lunch options are designed to be both energizing and rich in calcium:

  • Salads: Fresh leafy greens like kale and spinach are a staple in all our salads, with a variety of calcium-rich toppings to help you achieve your daily intake.
  • Hot & Pressed Wraps: Spinach is also a common ingredient in our hot and pressed wraps, adding calcium to a filling, delicious lunch.

Increase Your Calcium Intake with 3Natives

Getting your daily dose of calcium without relying on dairy is not only possible but can be incredibly enjoyable and diverse. From antioxidant-rich acai bowls to hearty lunches filled with leafy greens, there are plenty of delicious opportunities to ensure you’re getting enough calcium.

At 3Natives, we understand the importance of a balanced diet and the need for options that cater to various dietary preferences and requirements. Our menu is thoughtfully designed to offer many dairy-free options that are rich in calcium, ensuring that you don’t have to compromise on taste or nutrition.

Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply opting to reduce your dairy intake, our selections are tailored to provide the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Explore our robust menu and place your next order online for a convenient and healthy meal.