Gluten and Dairy Free Sources of Fiber and Calcium

Gluten Free, Dairy Free or Vegetarian? Choosing Vegetables that Provide Fiber, Protein and Calcium.

Gluten and Dairy Free Sources of Fiber and Calcium

The most common food sources to provide fiber, protein and calcium are generally not vegetables. Most resources will cite whole wheat, meat or legumes and dairy products. But what if you are avoiding gluten, legumes and dairy? Or you just want to eat healthier by incorporating more vegetables in your diet?

Before we start listing the best true vegetable sources for fiber, protein and calcium, let’s first define what a vegetable is. The food groups has grown in the last 20 or 30 years to include:

  • Vegetables
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Fruit
  • Legumes
  • Starches (grains and some carbohydrates)
  • Dairy

Not Included As A True Vegetable:

1. Legumes, which are high in carbs and are generally avoided by those on a restricted diet due to digestive trouble are: (the most common)

  • Chick peas
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Baked beans
  • Northern beans
  • Black eyed peas

2. Starches, also known as complex carbs and oftentimes a gluten or grain commonly avoided when on a restricted diet:

  • Bread (even gluten free bread) (all wheat, rice, and potato flour)
  • Potatoes (all potatoes)
  • Rice
  • Couscous
  • Processed cereal
  • Oats
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Pasta (even gluten free pasta)
  • Root Vegetables (the healthiest of the starch group: like sweet potatoes and carrots)
  • Potato chips, pretzels and crackers
  • Tortillas

Fruit has many healthy qualities but it does have natural sugars. All sugar, even sugar derived naturally in nature, is a carb. Sugar is also known to cause inflammation. If you eat fruit, keep it to a minimum if you are experiencing health issues of any kind as avoiding sugar certainly will not cause you any harm and may, in fact, help you to live a healthier life. Vegetables over fruit always for those struggling with health issues.

Dairy can be fine for most people but if you are allergic and are avoiding it you will want to read on to find out some non-dairy sources of calcium. Cow’s milk at the store has had sugar added to it so even if you are not lactose intolerant, you may want to consider omitting cow’s milk from your diet. There have been many studies that show in order for the body to absorb calcium it must be accompanied by a good fat. Fat free and low fat milks have removed the key ingredient needed for your body to absorb and use the calcium. There are many vegetable options that give you more calcium per serving than milk that you can easily pair with a healthy fat.

What Can I Eat?

That is a great question! You should also know that this list will not include nightshades. The reason is that studies have shown, and my personal experience has proven to me, that nightshades can cause inflammation and pain in some with arthritis, plantar fasciitis, those susceptible to leg cramps, migraines and headaches. I am also omitting soy products, like edamame (soybeans) due to so many people with diagnosed and undiagnosed thyroid problems who should all be avoiding all soy products. I know from personal experience that avoiding all soybean oil, soybeans and soy has made a big difference in my own health.

Nightshades include: eggplant, white and red potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams), all peppers and their by-products like crushed red pepper, tomatoes and all the by-products like ketchup. Onions are NOT a nightshade. Black pepper is NOT a nightshade. Cumin is NOT a nightshade and a good alternative to chili powder.

Vegetables that provide fiber:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Broccoli: if you have thyroid disease eat only when cooked.
  • Brussels Sprouts: if you have thyroid disease eat only when cooked.
  • Cabbage: if you have thyroid disease eat only when cooked.
  • Cauliflower: if you have thyroid disease eat only when cooked.
  • Celery
  • Chayote
  • Collard Greens
  • Fennel
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce (all)
  • Nopales
  • Okra: try whole frozen okra tossed in oil, salt and pepper and then baked golden brown!
  • Sauerkraut
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Zucchini

Mushrooms: We tend to put mushrooms in the vegetable category and they are a great addition to this list of foods with fiber, low carb and healthy. Avoid mushrooms if you are prone to athlete’s foot, yeast infections or candida. Once you have done the elimination diet you can then try them to see if it triggers any issues for you.

Olives are another food we can easily include here! Avoid the pimento if avoiding nightshades, but otherwise black, green and other olives do tend to be a good source of fiber and they are low carb.

Vegetables that provide protein:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli-Rabe
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Palm Hearts
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Vegetables that provide calcium:

  • Artichokes
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Mustard Greens
  • Nopales
  • Okra
  • Parsley
  • Palm Hearts
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip Greens

Are you looking for foods to avoid for ringing in the ears, restless leg syndrome, thinning or thickening of the blood? If you are avoiding fruits due to the sugar content, which vegetables offer a good source of Vitamin C? I recommend: Healthy Choices, Healthy You: https://amzn.to/2C7IDH7

Paula C. Henderson

Check out my other articles here on Feast that include gluten and dairy free recipes!

https://vocal.media/authors/paula-c-henderson

Stay tuned for some menu ideas using these ingredients.

If you are interested in incorporating more greens into your diet, one of the healthiest foods you can eat, I recommend: Lettuce Amaze You: https://amzn.to/36r1omL

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Paula C. Henderson
Paula C. Henderson
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Paula C. Henderson

Paula makes her home in Las Vegas, Nevada. A freelance writer, healthy food advocate, mom and cookbook author.

See all posts by Paula C. Henderson