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We all know how important calcium is for protecting teeth and bones. Here are some sources that may surprise you!

Opinions differ on whether calcium supplements can really do the trick. And many folks don’t want to eat dairy. So which plant-based foods can help keep your calcium levels high? Here are six we think you should know about. Oh, and we included some fun, quick recipes to help them go down easy…

No. 1 KALE – 1 cup: 245 mg (24% DV)

Now, don’t laugh. Kale is actually quite tasty!  And just one cup of this super food has 245 mg of calcium, or 24% of your Percent Daily Value (DV) as recommended by the Food & Drug Administration. Here’s Laura Vitale from Laura in the Kitchen with a great kale recipe to serve yourself and your family tonight.

No. 2 BROCCOLI – 1 ½ cup cooked: 93 mg (9% DV)

Your may be surprised that our old pal, broccoli, has so much calcium in it. Here’s a really nice and simple recipe from for a cold broccoli salad that looks just yummy. That’s right, get your “Yum!” for more calciUM! Uh, sorry, was that too corny?

No. 3 WATERCRESS – 1 cup: 41 mg (4% DV)

You may know that watercress has plenty of iron, another important mineral, but it’s also screaming with calcium! Chef Ricardo shows us how to make a refreshing Carribean-style drink packed with what you need. Note: In the video, Chef Ricardo doesn’t mention the calcium, but we know it’s there, don’t we?

No. 4 BOK CHOY – 1 cup:74 mg (7% DV)

Join Chef Buck for a spicy turn at baby bok choy, another great veggie that’s packed with calcium. Warning, Chef Buck is liberal with the hoisin sauce, which has a lot of salt, so if you have hypertension, ease back on that. Enjoy the bok choy!

No. 5 OKRA – 1 cup: 82 mg (8% DV)

To many, okra is too gushy to be considered edible. But okra is a great source of calcium and packed with anti-oxidants. Dani Spies of shows you how to prepare a quick snack that just might replace those fried mozzarella sticks you normally serve.

No. 6  ALMONDS – 1 oz: 76 mg (8% DV)

If you’re not allergic to tree nuts, and don’t mind some fat (the good fat, that is), here’s a nice food for entertaining the guests, or for when you’ve got the munchies. This roasted almond recipe is presented by Lucy and Claire, a.k.a., The Crumb Sisters. Just so you know, they’re British, and they use Centigrade – the 180 C they mention in the video is actually just over 350 F.

So there you have it, friends, six calcium-rich food choices, and some great recipes to go with them. Here’s to stronger bones and teeth. Bon Appétit !

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