10 Best Sources of Plant Based Calcium
Still believe that the only way to get Calcium is from dairy milk or a little oval pill?? It’s time to update your knowledge friend! There is a common misconception that vegans need to supplement their diet with artificial/ pill forms of calcium. If you eat a healthy plant-based diet, there really is no need to take a calcium supplement. Calcium is found in so many plant foods and in foods that are healthier than dairy products. I am here to give you the 411 on which plant foods pack the best calcium punch.
Now, the average adult needs about 1,000 mg of Calcium per day. Calcium is essential to build and maintain healthy bones and teeth, for clotting blood, and is also important in cellular function. So how do you get to 1000 mg per day? By including some of these Calcium superstars of course!
1. Plant based Milks: Almond Milk, Cashew Milk, Hemp Milk, Flax Milk, etc. Did you know that almond milk actually has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk? A glass of cow’s milk has about 30% of the daily recommended value of calcium, while a glass of almond milk has 45% of the daily recommended value. That’s 450 mg! Starting your day with 1 cup of almond milk in your cereal, in oats, a smoothie, or protein shake will you you almost half way to your daily calcium intake!
Oh Kale, the all mighty superfood. If you need another reason to eat Kale, here it is. Kale has 180 mg of Calcium per one cup. It also has so many other health benefits and will give you energy without weighing you down. Add some kale to your smoothie, lunch bowl/salad, or dinner and you will be well on your way to hitting your calcium recommendation.
While many kids might scoff at broccoli, many adults often tell me it is their favorite vegetables. Not only do these little green trees taste amazing- they are super versatile. Add some broccoli to your pasts, veggie stir fry, salad, or snack on it raw. Broccoli has about 95 mg of Calcium per cup making it a top pick for a vegetable calcium source.
4. White Beans – Navy, Northern Beans, etc.
Each cup of white beans has about 120-130 mg of calcium. White beans are a delicious addition to many dishes and taste great! Plus, they are super budget friendly.
Most Americans probably have never even heard of tempeh. I had not heard of it until I transitioned to a vegan diet. Tempeh turns out to be a great source of plant based calcium and has about 215 mg per cup. I love adding tempeh to stir fry, salads, or even on tacos.
6. Collard Greens
Collard Greens are a calcium powerhouse at about 315 mg per cup. So pile up that plate and get to chowing down!
Organic soybeans can be a great addition to a diet at 175 mg of calcium per cup. I advise purchasing organic soy products that don’t have any unhealthy additives.
Oranges have one of the highest calcium counts out of all fruits. One orange has around 50-60 mg of Calcium. Oranges are cheap, portable, and can be found year round, making them a fruit you should definitely add to your cart.
Fresh figs can be a bit more difficult to find in certain areas/ at certain times of year, but luckily dried figs are much easier to find. Figs have about 120 mg of calcium per 1/2 cup and taste delicious fresh or dried. If you buy dried figs, make sure to get the ones without any added sugar.
While blackberries are a little bit lower on the totem pole when it comes to calcium, they stand strong at 40 mg per 1 cup. Now, if you are anything like me, you will definitely eat more than 1 cup of blackberries at one time. Toss some blackberries on your oats, in a smoothie, or snack on them straight out of the carton.
It is actually fairly easy to get in a day’s worth of calcium in just one meal. I often get in almost all of my daily recommended calcium by the time I have finished breakfast. That is due to the fact that I often have 2 cups of almond milk in my morning smoothies. Below I am going to share some meals that are very high in calcium/ what an average day of getting the daily calcium recommendation looks like.
My favorite High Calcium Meals:
Breakfast smoothie: 2 cups almond milk, 1 cup kale, 1 cup frozen blackberries, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder – total = 1120 mg Calcium
Breakfast oats: 1/2 cup of oats made with 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup dried figs, 1 banana, 1 cup blackberries = 470 mg calcium
Lunch bowl: Big Bowl Kale Salad: 5 cups kale, 1 cup white beans, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, peppers, w/ avocado lemon dressing = 1050 mg calcium
Dinner: Tempeh Broccoli Stir Fry: 2 cups tempeh, 3 cups broccoli, 1/2 cup rice = 715 mg calcium
Were you shocked by any of these foods?
Do you drink plant based milks/ non-dairy milks? Which kind/ brand is your favorite?