A common misconception about veganism is that it's challenging to meet essential nutrient requirements, especially calcium. However, with a well-balanced and informed approach, vegans can easily obtain all the necessary nutrients, including calcium, from plant-based sources. Calcium is crucial for maintaining strong bones and overall health. In this blog post, we'll explore some of my favorite vegan sources of calcium!
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and bok choy are excellent sources of calcium. These nutrient-rich greens provide a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. For instance, a cup of cooked collard greens can deliver up to 25% of your daily calcium needs. Whether enjoyed in salads, stir fry dishes, or smoothies, these greens are a delicious way to fortify your bone health.
Fortified Plant Milks
Fortified plant milks, such as almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk, are becoming increasingly popular among vegans and non-vegans alike. These milks are fortified with essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. Check the labels to ensure you're selecting varieties with adequate calcium content.
Tofu and Tempeh
I enjoy using tofu in my vegan pizza recipes, vegan mac and cheese, and so much more. Tofu and tempeh are versatile and protein-rich foods that also pack a calcium punch. Depending on the brand and preparation, a 3.5-ounce serving of tofu can provide about 20% of your daily calcium needs. Incorporate these soy-based foods into your meals for an amazing calcium boost.
Tiny but mighty, sesame seeds are loaded with calcium. Whether sprinkled on top of salads, added to granola, or used as a flavorful seasoning, these seeds offer a substantial calcium contribution. Additionally, they bring healthy fats and essential nutrients to the table.
Chia seeds have gained a reputation as a superfood for their omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein content. They are also a noteworthy source of calcium, with two tablespoons providing about 18% of your daily calcium needs. Try making chia pudding or adding chia seeds to your morning smoothie for a nutrient-packed treat.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are not only rich in protein and fiber but also contain notable amounts of calcium. Incorporating these legumes into your diet can help you maintain strong bones while enjoying the benefits of their nutritional profile. Chickpeas, black beans, and lentils are great choices to consider.
Almonds are a delicious and crunchy snack that also happen to be a great source of calcium. They are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, and other essential nutrients. A handful of almonds can contribute to your daily calcium intake while satisfying your snack cravings.
Certain fruits, such as figs and oranges, provide smaller but still valuable amounts of calcium. Figs, both dried and fresh, contain easily absorbable calcium. Meanwhile, oranges not only provide a dose of vitamin C but also contribute to your calcium intake.
Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean compromising your bone health. By including these great vegan sources of calcium in your diet, you can enjoy strong bones and overall wellness while embracing a cruelty-free lifestyle. From dark leafy greens to fortified plant milks, the plant kingdom offers a diverse array of calcium-rich options that are as good for your body as they are for the planet.
Remember to maintain a balanced diet, and consider consulting a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure you're meeting your individual nutrient needs. With informed choices, you can thrive on a vegan diet and reap the benefits of these incredible calcium sources.
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About Tabatha James
Tabatha James is a wife, mom, and children's book author navigating her way through a vegan way of life!