Calcium is a nutrient required for normal development of our bones as well as the proper functioning of our cardiac and neuromuscular systems. Diets low in calcium have been associated with osteoporosis – a weakening of bones that can fracture easily.
The best source of calcium is dairy, it is a convenient source and the body is able to absorb the calcium well. However, many dairy products contain lactose, the naturally occurring sugar that can increase gastrointestinal symptoms for some people. Therefore, during the initial elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet, people may restrict their dairy intake to lower the amount of lactose in their diet.
The amount of calcium you need daily depends on your age and gender, look at the table below to work out how much calcium you need per day
Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand
Below are some dietary strategies to ensure your calcium intake remains adequate if you are restricting lactose and a sample meal plan too.
|Breakfast||Gluten free Weetbix with almond milk, strawberries and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds.||~64mg|
|Morning Tea||Lactose free yoghurt, 200g||~310mg|
|Lunch||Sandwich – low FODMAP bread with slice of cheese, canned tuna, spinach, tomato and ⅛ avocado||~320mg|
|Afternoon Tea||30g almonds and 1 medium banana||~75mg|
|Dinner||Spaghetti bolognaise served with ½ cup broccoli and 20g parmesan cheese||~290mg|
|Extra: if your requirements are 1300mg/day||Add 1 cup of lactose free milk or plant based milk fortified with calcium||TOTAL: ~1309mg|
For other calcium rich meal ideas take a look at our older blog posts