Here are 9 Plant Foods High in Calcium, because if you’re worried about getting enough calcium on a plant-based, vegan diet, you shouldn’t be. You don’t need cow’s milk to get calcium.
In fact, cow’s milk is harmful to your health, so you don’t want to rely on dairy products as your source of calcium. Just make sure to eat a wide variety of plant foods.
Including in your diet some of the following plant foods that are naturally (non-fortified) higher sources of calcium, will help to ensure you’re getting enough.
Plant Foods High in Calcium
10 Figs contain 140mg of calcium per cup.
Figs are great in a salad, on top of banana ice cream, or just on their own. Ripe, juicy figs are nature’s jam!
2. Navy Beans
1 cup of boiled navy beans contains 126mg of calcium.
Beans make a nice addition to many meals such as rice dishes, vegan tacos and stews. They provide a denser texture, along with a higher protein and fibre content that will leave you satisfied.
3. Great Northern Beans
1 cup approx. 120mg of calcium.
You might not think of it at first, but great northern beans go well in many dips, adding a rich, thicker consistency, including pumpkin hummus, or Pumpkincredible Hummus from Dreena Burton! Just add them in as the “white beans.”
1 cup of boiled and chopped kale will provide 94mg of calcium.
Kale goes well in soups, salads and pairs nicely with potatoes, like in this Cheesy Potato-Kale Bake from VeganStreet!
Boiled soybeans contain 175mg in 1 cup.
You’ll find soybeans as the main ingredient in many products such tofu, soymilk and tempeh, but soybeans also work well just as they are in whole form. You can add them to a grain dish or put them in a soup for some extra flavour.
2tbsp of tahini has 128mg of calcium.
Ground sesame seeds, tahini is most often found in hummus, but you can also use it as a salad dressing, maybe with a bit of orange juice to thin it out.
1 cup of boiled chickpeas contains 80mg of calcium.
1 cup of chopped, boiled broccoli has 62mg of calcium.
Broccoli, mini green trees that go well in so many dishes and, of course, taste great on their own too! There likely a vegetable you often have in your house, so it’s nice to know you won’t need to go searching for exotic foods to make sure you’re getting your calcium. Whether adding it to a stir-fry, casserole, soup or as its’ own side dish, broccoli adds a nice bit of colour to any meal.
20 almonds contain 64mg of calcium.
Almonds pack a nutritious punch. They make a great snack in whole form, or almond slivers adds your salad, or in almond milk accompanying your morning oatmeal. Find out more about the different forms of almonds and almond products! In particular, almond butter can go well in cookies, helping add a thicker, chewy consistency, as in the Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vegan 8.
And a bonus one: Collard greens!
Collard greens tip the scale with 1 cup of boiled collard greens having 266mg of calcium. Now that’s a lot of plant-based calcium! Collards can be steamed, boiled, used as wraps stuffed with vegetables or added in to soups and stews.
As mentioned above, all of these plant foods contain naturally occurring calcium. Of course, these are not the only sources of plant-based calcium.
All plant foods contain a wide spectrum of nutrients, some are just higher in calcium than others. Other good plant sources of calcium include: quinoa, oranges, raisins, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potato, lentils, lettuce and cauliflower.
You can also find many calcium fortified foods on the store shelves, such as fortified orange juice, soymilk or tofu. So you have no need to worry, there are plenty of ways to make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of calcium in your diet.
Finding some foods you enjoy, making them a part of your weekly meals, and eating a variety of whole, plant foods is a great place to start!
Sources & further reading:
“Calcium in Plant-Based Diets” – PCRM
“25 Vegan Sources for Calcium” – Care2
“How to Get Calcium Without Dairy” – Thomas Campbell, MD (NutritionStudies.org)
“12 Frightening Facts About Milk” – Thomas Campbell, MD