We all have grown up listening to the fact that milk is the best source of calcium. This mineral has numerous benefits like strong teeth and bones, maintaining blood pressure, faster blood clotting, nerve transmission, and the list goes on.
People believe that the only source available for vegans for calcium is dairy products, but this is not true. Many plant foods serve as a great source of calcium and other essential nutrients like protein and fiber.
If we go by the Reference Daily Intake, adults should have at least 1000 mg per day of calcium. It is 1200 mg per day for people aged above 50 years, and for children, this number is around 1300 mg.
Soy-based foods are one of the tastiest options, which also contain many minerals and nutrients. It can fulfill around 40 to 86% of your calcium needs depending upon the method of preparation and the amount consumed. Foods such as tofu, soybeans, tempeh, natto, etc., provide many nutrients beneficial for human health. Tofu itself is prepared from calcium phosphate, making it a great source of calcium.
It is quite surprising to find that one whole-grain tortilla has the power to meet 10% of your calcium needs. A whole-wheat tortilla is one of the best options as it has fiber, protein, and vitamins.
Legumes, Beans, and Peas
For a long time, beans, peas, and legumes are great sources of nutrients, especially protein and calcium. Being one of the cheapest finds in the store, they consist of fiber, protein, and iron. Lentils like black or white beans have a great amount of calcium.
Dark Leafy Green
Cruciferous and dark leafy vegetables have topped the list of the healthiest food for a very long time. Greens like kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, etc., are super healthy with all nutrients. You can meet 20% of your calcium needs by eating only two cups of kale.
Known as “superfood,” these little seeds consist of a bunch of nutrition. One ounce of chia seeds can fulfill many of your daily needs, such as 11 grams of fiber, 18% of the calcium recommendation, and omega-3s. You can incorporate them into your daily diet by adding them as toppings on salads, grain bowls, or smoothies for a higher calcium intake.
Nuts are known for being a great source of calcium, protein, and fat, especially almonds. Including almonds in your daily vegan diet can provide for almost 10% of the requirement. Nuts have many other benefits also like reducing weight loss, metabolic issues, BP, etc.
Seaweed addition to your vegan diet is another technique to boost your calcium intake.
- Wakame is typically eaten raw, and it lends around 126 mg, which is approximately 12% of the RDI per cup.
- Kelp is another variety that is eaten raw or dried. One cup (80 grams) of natural kelp provides for around 14% of the RDI. You can use kelp flakes as a seasoning on salads and main dishes.
Some fruits are a great source of calcium. Some of the fruits that you can consider are:
- Raw figs, which provide around 18 mg, close to 2% of the RDI per fig.
- Blackcurrants supply around 65 mg per cup (110 grams), around 7% of the RDI.
- Blackberries and raspberries pack you with 32–44 mg per cup (145 grams and 125 grams, respectively).
- One cup of orange juice can solve a lot of your problems. It provides around 10% of daily calcium needs along with fiber and potassium.
These fruits are also a great dose of fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals.
We all are aware of the importance of calcium for our bodies. It helps in strengthening bones and teeth. It makes muscles and nerves work and carry signals to and from the brain, respectively. There are many tasty options available for vegan people to fulfill their daily requirement of calcium. Foods like soy, chia seeds, some fruits, leafy vegetables, etc., give a pretty good amount of calcium. As a bonus, these foods also have a rich nutrient value. Along with calcium, you also get protein, plant fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. But remember not to overeat anything.