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Sources of dietary calcium vary worldwide. Dairy is included in European, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisines; however, it is not a part of traditional Polynesian cuisines, nonpastoral African cuisines, the cuisines of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, or most Asian cuisines. Westernization has resulted in increased dairy intake among many ethnic groups that did not historically consume it. Although dairy is often the top source of calcium where it is consumed, it does not always provide the majority of calcium in the diet and other sources of calcium are required for adequacy. Nondairy contributors of calcium in Asia include grains, vegetables, legumes, and fish with edible bones. Soups made with vinegar-soaked bones and preserved eggs may be important to the calcium nutrition of postpartum women. In Africa, wild greens and insects contribute calcium to the diet. In some Latin American countries, tortillas prepared using flour from corn kernels soaked in calcium hydroxide contribute to calcium nutrition. To widen our understanding of calcium nutrition increased knowledge of the calcium contribution of nondairy food sources like insects, wild greens and Asian soups is required.

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