Calcium is an important part of our diet, but many of us don’t get enough of it. Not only is calcium essential for strong, healthy teeth and bones, but it’s also necessary for your nerves to function correctly and your muscles to contract and relax properly.
Dairy products are rich sources of calcium; working dairy into your diet and making sure you get your recommended daily amount is key. As we get older, many of us don’t pay enough attention to how much calcium is in our diet. When we were younger, it was somewhat easy – you may remember yoghurts in your lunchbox, cheese sandwiches at the park or a warm glass of milk before bed. However, as adults, lots of us don’t incorporate enough dairy products into our diets.
Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to increase your dairy intake in your day to day life. You don’t have to make any drastic changes and if you’re worried about the saturated fats in dairy, we’re here to tell you there are plenty of ways to introduce more dairy into your diet without packing in the calories!
Drink milk more often
Let’s start with the most simple and basic ways to increase your dairy intake: milk. A tall glass of milk has almost 300 milligrams of calcium – this is almost a third of your recommended daily intake! If you don’t fancy downing a glass of milk on it’s own, there’s plenty of other ways to make sure you work it into your daily diet. Try swapping out your morning toast for cereal with milk or putting it in your lunchtime smoothie. If you don’t like the taste of milk, try adding some flavouring to make a milkshake.
Remember, you don’t have to drink full-fat milk. Cut saturated fats and calories by switching to skim or low-fat milk!
Add milk to your smoothies
We mentioned it above, but let’s take a look at how you can add milk to your smoothies in a little more detail. Smoothies are a delicious, healthy and nutritious way to make sure you’re getting enough fruit and vegetables in your diet, but they’re also a great way to increase your dairy intake too! Drinking a smoothie made with milk will ensure you squeeze some calcium into your diet while benefiting from the vitamins, minerals and fiber in the fruit and veg too.
There are lots of delicious smoothie recipes to try, but a basic fruit smoothie contains fruit, milk (or juice – but don’t forget to switch to milk to increase your calcium intake!), yoghurt and ice. Yoghurt is another great source of calcium – and don’t worry, there are lots of low-fat or non-fat yoghurts available.
Top fruit salads with yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is loaded with calcium and protein. It also tastes great when accompanied with fruit. Plus, it’s smooth and creamy, making it the perfect topping for a fruit salad. Get into the habit of enjoying your fruit salads – or just fruit in general – with some yoghurt. You can get as creative as you like; many people like to stick to basic berries, whereas others are far more adventurous with exotic and tropical fruits from across the globe. If you don’t fancy mixing your fruit with yoghurt, try combining it with crunchy granola for a delicious and healthy breakfast instead.
Add cheese to your salads
Adding cheese to your salads is another great way to boost your calcium intake. Plus, they taste great. There are lots of different options for you to explore, including classics such as the Greek salad containing feta and the Caprese salad packed full of mozzarella. If you’re trying to be careful with calories, keep in mind that mozzarella cheese is lower in calories compared to other types of cheese because it’s lower in fat.
You don’t have to stick to the rules; next time you make a salad, cut up some feta and crumble it on top or shave some Parmesan cheese onto your veggies. Not only is this an easy way to increase your calcium intake, but incorporating cheese into your salads will also make the flavours burst.
Add milk to your morning caffeine boost
Many of us enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning. If you like getting a burst of caffeine when you wake up for the day, use this opportunity to increase your calcium intake too. Make (or order if you’re busy and on the go!) a latte or cappuccino and add in milk. Again, it doesn’t have to be whole milk; you can opt for skim or low-fat milk to keep the calories down.
Caffe latte is made from espresso and steamed milk and a very popular option for those looking to get their morning caffeine hit. They’re also a great way to get a healthy dose of calcium in! If you don’t like coffee, add some milk to your tea instead.
Pay attention to dips and spreads
One of the easiest ways to increase your dairy intake is to simply pay attention to the dips and spreads you use in your daily diet. In the morning, top your toast or bagel with cream cheese instead of butter. Despite what many people think, butter is actually not part of the dairy food group and won’t help you boost your calcium intake too much.
If you want to keep your calories down, top baked potatoes and nachos with low-fat yoghurt instead of higher fat toppings such as sour cream. This way, you can still get your much-needed calcium boost without packing in the calories! Cut up fresh vegetables, such as carrots, celery and cucumber, and snack on them with a dip made from low-fat yoghurt.
For an extra treat and a burst of flavour, melt cheese onto your vegetables. If you want to get creative and try something new for your next movie night, try sprinkling Parmesan cheese over popcorn – we know it sounds odd, but trust us on this one!
There’s plenty of different ways to add dairy and calcium into your diet without making drastic changes or compromising your favourite foods – and, you can do it all in a calorie controlled diet, too!
Freshways: providing wholesale foods and dairy products across the UK
At Freshways, we know just how important calcium is in our diet. We’re dedicated to providing each and every one of our clients throughout London, Wales and the UK with the freshest milk and dairy products available. From manufacturers to small cafes, we’re proud to be the reliable dairy products supplier in the UK, providing our clients with a fast, friendly and efficient service.
For many businesses across the UK, fresh high-quality dairy and milk products are essential. We only use cows farmed in the UK, which means we can guarantee quality products every time. Whether you need high-quality milk, cream, yoghurt or cheese, you can rely on Freshways to get it to you! Based in Acton, we’re proud to be one of the largest suppliers of dairy to London and across the UK. As a family-run and independent dairy supplier, we’re dedicated to providing you with the highest-quality products at competitive prices.
For more information about our products and services, visit our website.