How a Dairy-Free Diet Can Impact Your Teeth
From allergies to health concerns, there are a variety of reasons why people cut dairy from their diet.
But for many, milk and other dairy-based foods are sources of calcium and other nutrients that keep them healthy. So what should you keep in mind when you cut dairy from your diet?
- Calcium: Calcium is an essential mineral for keeping teeth and bones strong. Since the body cannot create calcium, it must be absorbed through food. While dairy is a great source of calcium, there are other foods rich in calcium, too. These include dark leafy vegetables, such as bok choy and broccoli; foods fortified with calcium such as orange juice, cereal, soy milk and other products; and nuts such as almonds. Make sure you know the recommended calcium intake for your age-the average for adults is 1,000 mg per day.
- Vitamin D: While you need to be sure you’re getting enough calcium, you also need to be sure you have enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is important in helping the body adsorb calcium from food. One of the main sources of vitamin D is sunshine, but if you don’t get enough sun, you can get vitamin D naturally from a few foods like mackerel, salmon and tuna. Vitamin D is also added to the same processed foods as calcium, including orange juice, cereal and soy milk. The average adult needs about 600 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin D per day.
Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your teeth and bones healthy while on a dairy-free diet.