Best vegan sources of calcium

Best Vegan Sources of Calcium

Calcium, one of the most essential minerals on any diet yet still has a large cloud of mysticism surrounding the concept of how vegans are able to obtain it without consuming dairy.

This vital mineral is essential for the strength, maintenance and health of your bones and teeth, while also playing an important to role in optimal muscle and nerve function

It can be hard to know the best ways to get calcium into a plant based diet, especially for vegans transitioning from a typical western diet where milk and cheese are pushed as the only calcium sources that will prevent you from forming calcium deficiency.

To help dispel the mysticism around what vegans should eat to get enough calcium, we have created a list of the best plant-based food sources rich in calcium that can aid you in meeting your daily needs without resorting to cow’s milk.

Top plant-based sources of calcium

Firm tofu

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 8.7g Carbohydrates 2.8g Protein 17.3g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 29mcg – 7% DV, Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.2mg – 13% DV
Minerals: Calcium 683mg – 53%% DV, Iron 2.7mg – 15% DV, Potassium 237mg – 5% DV

Health benefits and uses for firm tofu

  • Firm tofu is one of the best nutrient-rich plant-based sources of calcium available on a vegan diet. It is typically fortified with calcium and each 100g serving generally provides around 50% of your daily calcium needs making this a great alternative to dairy products.
  • Tofu contains a large amount of isoflavones, which are a beneficial plant compound that has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Its also high in iron, magnesium, and protein which are all essential nutrients needed on a vegan diet.
  • Tofu is also one of the most versatile foods so it has an extensive range of using it in the kitchen. From an egg replacement in scrambled tofu through to seasoned crispy tofu strips to have with vegetable stir-fried rice or vegan salad. Tofu is one of the best vegan sources of calcium on the planet for all of these reasons.

Beet greens

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 0.3g, Carbohydrates 7.9g, Protein 3.7g
Vitamins: Vitamin A 120.1mcg – 13% DV, Vitamin C 11.4mg – 13% DV, Vitamin E 0.6mg – 4% DV
Minerals: Calcium 164.2mg – 13% DV, Iron 2.7mg – 15% DV, Magnesium 97.9mg – 23% DV

Health benefits and uses of beet greens

  • Beet greens are a unique leafy green not known by many but a favorite of ours for juicing thanks to its wide range of beneficial nutrients. Each cup serving provides a healthy dose of vitamin C E and K, as well as the essential minerals iron, calcium, and magnesium. Hence why these hidden greens have made an appearance in the best vegan sources of calcium food list.
  • 100 grams of cooked beet greens provide 13% of your daily calcium recommendation making them a wonderful plant-based calcium rich food source. 
  • Beet greens are one of the few leafy vegetables to be high in beta carotene providing 13% of your daily amount with just one cup. Beta carotene is great for the immune system as well as eye health, so adding beet greens to your next green juice or smoothie will provide a wonderful nutritional boost. 
  • Beet greens are also high in antioxidants, which will help your body fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress .  
  • They work extremely well in green smoothies and green juices as well as in vegan salads. 
  • Feeling creative? Why not try out our tasty beet green kvass recipe to help boost your magnesium intake in a unique way.

Kale 

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 1.5g, Carbohydrates 4.4g, Protein 2.9g
Vitamins: Vitamin A 241mcg – 27% DV, Vitamin C 93.4mg – 104% DV, Vitamin E 0.7mg – 4% DV
Minerals: Calcium 254mg – 20% DV, Iron 1.6mg- 9% DV, Magnesium 33mg – 8% DV

Health benefits and uses for kale

  • Kale is one of the most popular cruciferous vegetables thanks to its tasty flavors and brilliant nutrient profile. Not only does it pack a large helping of vitamins A, B, and C, but it’s jam-packed with antioxidants that help to protect your body from free radicals.
  • Kale is also one of the best leafy green sources of calcium providing you with up to 20% of your daily needs with every 100g serving. With kale being one of the best vegan sources of calcium, it is an easy task to reach your daily needs.
  • Vitamin K is another nutrient that is abundant in kale, with each 1 cup serving providing over 50% of your daily needs. Studies have shown that vitamin K, just like calcium, is great for building strong bones. So adding kale to your diet will not only provide you with a large boost of essential nutrients but has the benefit of helping to prevent bone health issues like osteoporosis
  • Kale is one of the best leafy greens to juice, so why not try out some of our top kale juice recipes to help boost your plant-based calcium intake while bringing a comprehensive range of nutrients into your vegan diet.

Bok choi

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 0.2g Carbohydrates 2.2g, Protein 1.5g
Vitamins: Vitamin A 223mcg – 25% DV, Vitamin C 45mg – 50% DV, Vitamin K 45.5mcg – 38%
Minerals: Calcium 105mg – 8% DV, Magnesium 19mg – 5% DV, Potassium 252mg – 5% DV

Health benefits and uses for bok choi

  • Bok choi (pak choi), a member of the cabbage family and one of the tastiest vegetables to cook with that is surprisingly high in calcium.
  • For every cup of bok choi, you get 105 grams of calcium, fulling 8% of your daily needs. Bok choy is also packed full of quality vitamins especially vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C both play significant roles in preventing inflammation and strengthening the immune system, while vitamin K helps to regulate calcium levels, supporting healthy bones.
  • Some great recipes for bok choi are sauteed garlic bok choi on its own or a delicious mushroom and bok choi stir fry with soy sauce. Its versatility and high nutritional content helps Spinach to make the list of best vegan sources of calcium.

Spinach (cooked)

Nutrition info per cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 0.5g Carbohydrates 6.8g, Protein 5.3g
Vitamins: Vitamin A 943.2mcg 105% DV, Vitamin C 17.6mg- 20% DV, Vitamin E 3.7mg – 25% DV
Minerals: Calcium 6.3mg 35% DV, Iron 2.7mg – 15% DV, Potassium 558mg – 12% DV

Health benefits and uses for spinach

  • Spinach is one of those greens that work magnificently in a wide range of recipes from green juices and green smoothies to vegan salads and vegetable stir fry, but what many may not know is that cooked spinach is high in plant-based calcium.
  • A 1 cup serving of cooked spinach is able to provide up to 35% of your daily calcium needs, making it one of the best vegan sources of calcium.
  • Spinach is also relatively low carb but high in fiber, making it a brilliant leafy green for digestion as well as weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • Let’s not forget it’s got a very high vitamin K content which has been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism.
  • Spinach is also high in antioxidants, especially quercetin, which has been shown to help fight inflammation. 
  • Try making some sauteed spinach with garlic to boost your plant-based calcium intake while receiving all the other nutritional benefits that spinach has to offer.

Tempeh

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 10.8g Carbohydrates 7.6g Protein 20.3g – 41% DV
Vitamins: Vitamin A 633mcg – 70% DV, Vitamin C 9.5mg – 11% DV
Minerals: Calcium 111mg – 9% DV, Magnesium 81mg – 19% DV, Iron 2.7mg – 15% DV

Health benefits and uses for tempeh

  • Tempeh is an Indonesian food created through the fermentation of soybeans. Its a versatile food source that can be added to vegan salads and sandwiches or plant-based stir fry dishes with noodles or rice. 
  • Not only is it a magnificent source of plant-based protein, providing 41% of your recommended daily amount but also a wonderful vegan calcium rich food source.
  • Each 100g serving of tempeh is able to provide up to 9% of your recommended daily calcium content which is great for maintaining the health of your bones, hence why tempeh made our best vegan sources of calcium.
  • Tempeh is an extremely nutritious vegan food source high in magnesium, iron, b vitamins as well as probiotics.
  • Its probiotic nature means its great for your gut health, providing both pre and probiotics. 
  • Studies have shown that due to the soy content, it may help reduce cholesterol levels as well as reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer
  • The unique texture and taste may take some getting used to but it’s an excellent food to add to a healthy plant-based diet to receive some fantastic plant based calcium benefits.

Black-eyed peas (cooked)

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 0.4g Carbohydrates 20.3g Protein 3.2g
Vitamins: Vitamin A 40mcg – 4% DV, Vitamin B9 (folate) 127mcg – 32% DV, Vitamin K 26.6mcg – 22% DV
Minerals: Calcium 128mg – 10% DV, Potassium 418mg – 9% DV, Iron 1.1mg – 6% DV

Health benefits and uses for black eye peas

  • Black eye peas (also known as cowpeas) are an absolutely delicious black bean that works extremely well in a vegan rice and peas dish or in a tasty vegan black-eyed peas curry.
  • They are high in fiber and contain a large number of B vitamins while also being a vegan food rich in calcium.
  • Black eye peas provide 10% of your recommended amount of calcium with every 100 grams serving helping you to easily get enough while sticking to a vegan diet.
  • Studies have shown that beans like black eye peas may help to suppress hunger and keep you feeling full while also helping to lower the risk of obesity making these beans one of the best vegan sources of calcium.
  • Try out our favorite black-eyed peas recipe to start adding some plant-based calcium to your diet without the need for cow’s milk.

Edamame

Nutrition info per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 5.2g Carbohydrates 8.9g Protein 11.9g
Vitamins: Vitamin E 0.7mg – 5% DV, Vitamin C 6.1mg – 7% DV, Vitamin K 26.7mcg – 22% DV
Minerals: Calcium 63mg – 5% DV, Iron 2.3mg – 13% DV, Magnesium 64mg – 15% DV

Health benefits and uses for edamame

  • Edamame is a nutritious green bean, high in protein and vitamin E while also being one of the best vegan sources of calcium.
  • Edamame also contains a sufficient amount of omega 3 essential fatty acids which can help to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease.
  • They are high in dietary fiber providing 25% of your recommended daily intake with every 100 grams serving while also high in vitamin K which supports optimal bone health by regulating calcium.
  • A few easy ways to incorporate this tasty bean into your vegan diet and increase your plant-based calcium intake is through a hearty vegan salad, a vegetable curry, or a vegan miso tofu bowl.

Sesame seeds

Nutrition info per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 0.6g, Carbohydrates 82.9g, Protein 4.9g
Vitamins: Vitamin A 633mcg – 70% DV, Vitamin C 9.5mg – 11% DV
Minerals: Calcium 280.9mg – 22% DV, Magnesium 101.1mg – 24% DV, Iron 4.2mg – 23%

Health benefits and uses for sesame seeds

  • Sesame seeds, grown from the sesamum Indicum plant are one of the most nutritious seeds to add to your diet known for their healthy oils and versatility in cooking dishes. Sesame seeds can be used in all sorts of ways, from vegan breads, crackers, and cookies through to Asian stir fry dishes and tofu seasoning, the possibilities are endless.
  • Sesame seeds provide 22% of your daily calcium needs with just a one ounce serving making them one of the best seeds for plant-based calcium content. They can be an excellent addition to a tasty vegan salad or can be used to boost the nutritional profile of your favorite green smoothies.
  • Sesame seeds also contain 22% of your recommended calcium amount with a simple one-ounce serving. A healthy supply of calcium is essential to the development and maintenance of strong healthy bones so sesame seeds are a magnificent food source to add to a plant-based diet to easily boost calcium intake, making our list of the best vegan sources of calcium.

Almonds

Nutrition info per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 14.2g Carbohydrates 6.1g Protein 6g
Vitamins: Vitamin E 7.3g – 49% DV, Vitamin B9 12.5mCg – 3% DV
Minerals: Calcium 76.4mg – 6% DV, Magnesium 76.7mg- 18% DV, Zinc 0.9mg – 8% DV

Health benefits and uses for almonds

  • Almonds are probably the most popular nut in the vegan diet and are a great source of calcium to meet your daily calcium requirement helping to reach optimal bone health. Each ounce of almonds provides up to 6% of your daily calcium needs.
  • Almonds are high in vitamin E which is great for your skin and hair, while also being packed with fiber which helps with healthy bowel movements and optimal digestive health.
  • Some tasty ways to incorporate almonds into your vegan diet can be through delicious nut butter’s or simply roasted in the over with a touch of salt. Through snacking or including almonds in main meals, you can improve your calcium intake easily making almonds one of the best vegan sources of calcium.
  • Another popular plant-based alternative to get some extra almonds in your diet is almond milk, especially the fortified kind are able to provide a significant plant based calcium boost on vegan diet by simply adding to your morning oat bowl or using it in your favorite fruit smoothies or protein shakes.

Tahini

Nutrition info per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 15.2g Carbohydrates 6g Protein 4.8g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate) 27.8mcg- 7% DV, Vitamin B1 0.3mg – 29% DV
Minerals: Calcium 121mg – 9% DV, Iron 2.5mg – 14% DV, Zinc 1.3mg – 12% DV

Health benefits and uses for tahini

  • Tahini is a delicious Mediterranean spread made from sesame seeds that is also one of the best vegan sources of calcium and can easily be added to a vegan diet. For every ounce of tahini, you fulfill 9% of your recommended calcium intake helping you to get enough of this essential mineral without resorting to dairy products.
  • Studies have shown many benefits from tahini and the sesame seeds used to make it, from helping to prevent inflammation, though to reducing the risk of heart disease thanks to the antioxidant content.
  • Some great vegan uses for tahini to help you increase your daily amount of calcium are as a tasty salad dressing or as a vital ingredient in delicious homemade hummus.

Chia seeds

Nutrition per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 8.7g, Carbohydrates 12g, Protein 4.7g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate)13.9mcg – 3% DV, Vitamin E 0.1mg – 1% DV
Minerals: Calcium 179.2mg – 14% DV, Zinc 2.8mg – 26% DV, Iron 2.3mg – 13% DV

Health benefits and uses of chia seeds

  • Chia seeds are another food source topping everyone’s list of superfoods thanks to its excellent range of beneficial vitamins minerals and antioxidants.
  • Not only is it high in the essential mineral zinc and iron but it’s rich in calcium providing you with 14% of your daily calcium needs with just a 1 ounce serving making them one of the best vegan sources of calcium.
  • These beneficial seeds not only have a comprehensive nutritional profile but also have many benefits from helping to lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease through to helping to maintain healthy bones.
  • They also provide a whopping 39% of your recommended daily amount of fiber, which is great for a healthy digestive system.
  • Chia seeds have a wide range of uses for vegans, from chia puddings with fruit, through to being a magnificent addition to fruit smoothies in the morning. 
  • Want to get the most out of this phenomenal source of calcium? Try out some of our top chia seed recipes.

Plant based calcium supplements

Another plant-based alternative that can help to support a balanced vegan diet is a dairy-free vegan calcium supplement. A high-quality vegan calcium supplement or vegan multivitamin can be a great way to make up for any minerals or vitamins that may be lacking in your diet. The best vegan calcium supplements will provide a high enough amount of calcium per serving to make achieving your recommended daily amount super easy.

They will be free from animal products and typically supported with vitamin D and vitamin K for optimal calcium absorption. One of our favorite vegan calcium supplements that ticks all the right boxes is garden of life organic plant calcium but for a wider range of calcium supplement choices check out our top recommendations which should allow you to pick a suitable supplement for your needs.

Want to know more about how to make the most of calcium on a plant-based diet? Check out our in-depth vegan calcium guide that breaks down everything you need to know to master this essential mineral.

Feeling inspired?

Why not try some of our fantastic vegan recipes high in calcium to help bring nutritional balance back to your diet.

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