20 Foods Rich In Calcium That Vegans Eat
One of the biggest problems with being a vegan is not finding a dairy-free source of calcium; instead, it’s having to deal with the constant “Where do you get your calcium from?” question.
And if folk aren’t asking us questions, they’re telling us straight: “You do know you will die if you don’t eat your calcium, right?”
Yup, because we totally became a vegan so that we could dice with death.
The truth is that, despite meat-eaters looking out for us and making sure we don’t actually become pale, skinny and develop osteoporosis within weeks of becoming vegan, we do know what we’re doing. But just in case you were a little concerned about where you will now get your calcium fix from, let’s take a look at 20 foods rich in calcium that vegans eat.
Kale is the hero of our list of foods rich in calcium. You can in fact get more calcium from this leafy green than you can from a glass of milk. A glass of milk contains 300mg of calcium per cup, 32% of which is absorbed. Kale, on the other hand, contains 197mg of calcium per cup, 42% of which is absorbed.
Kale is a a key dietary source of calcium, and has indeed been described as the new beef. But beefy or not, this green helps with the formation and maintenance of our bones and teeth, as well as with everything else that calcium helps with.
Many of us start the day with a cup of Joe and a bowl of oatmeal. Thankfully, vegans can also enjoy a hearty bowl of porridge in the morning.
Oatmeal is basically the breakfast hero, and although it’s more well-known for being rich in fibre, it also has a whole lot of calcium content too. Just one 35g pack of oatmeal can ave up to 105mg of calcium, which means this really is the breakfast of champions. Get on it.
Almonds also deserve their place in our list of foods rich in calcium. Almonds are super convenient because you can essentially just grab a handful whenever, wherever. In a sense, almonds are rather like maltesers – but much healthier. You can eat them at home, at work, whilst watching Netflix, and you can even eat them whilst travelling.
And they’re a great vegan source of calcium, too. A single ounce serving contains 80mg of calcium. As well as this, almonds also provide many other health benefits; they can better regulate our blood sugar levels, help us to lose weight, and lower cholesterol.
When we were kids, we were always told to eat our greens. Some of us could just about deal with lettuce, whilst sprouts were also bearable. But only just. Broccoli, on the other hand, was a whole different ball game. It was the bane of many children’s lives, and turning 16 was often a celebration that there would be no more broccoli.
The thing is, broccoli is an essential calcium source for vegans. It’s basically a better green superhero than the Incredible Hulk, and comes loaded with 180mg of calcium. And you never know, your tastes might have changed by now. Give it a try!
5. Dried Figs
Fried figs are one of the sweetest foods rich in calcium. If you’ve never previously considered dried figs, you really should. Dried figs are ridiculously tasty, and are perfect for anyone who has a sweet tooth. They might not look like the most welcoming fruit on the planet, but they certainly hit the spot.
And the best thing is that they might just be the best fruit source of calcium on the planet. An individual fig contains 13mg of calcium, whilst a cup contains a mega 241mg! This means that a handful of dried figs a day is enough to get almost your entire daily recommended amount of calcium. Team Dried Fig!
You might remember prunes from your childhood. Either your mom, your dad, your uncle, your aunty, your grandmother, your grandfather, or all 6 of them were eating prunes to help with their constipation.
But as well as helping with our colon, prunes are also rich in calcium and are an ideal vegan source to help with our bones and teeth. Just a single cup is rich in up to 75mg of calcium, which means that you should seriously consider adding prunes to your diet even if you have great bowels.
And in case your boyfriend asks why you have prunes in the house, just reassure him that it’s for your bones.
7. Brown Rice
Some parts of the world are quite literally besotted with brown rice. The word “food” actually means “rice” in some quarters (maybe), and brown rice actually supplies half of the daily calories for half of the planet’s entire population. Amazing.
The difference between white rice and brown rice is that the latter is much healthier for you. Brown rice is one of the most versatile foods rich in calcium, and it is jam packed with nutrients, including manganese, selenium, magnesium, copper and vitamin B3. A single cooked cup of brown rice contains up to 50mg of calcium.
8. Blackstrap Molasses
Vegan sources of calcium just don’t come any better-named than blackstrap molasses. Darker and richer than normal molasses, blackstrap molasses also have more nutrients. These include iron as well as calcium, with a single tablespoon of the stuff containing up to 172mg of calcium. Win.
Blackstrap molasses is a perfect vegan source of calcium for anyone with a sweet tooth; you can use it add flavour to a number of dishes, sweetening your morning pancakes or your cup of tea, and you can do so in the knowledge that you’re getting healthy.
So the next time a meat eater asks why you’re drizzling your breakfast in blackstrap molasses, just tell them you’re getting your calcium fix, whilst loving life.
9. Black-eyed Peas
Yup, the American hip-hop band The Black Eyed Peas are a great vegan source of calcium. To get your fix, all you need to do is put on their records and …
Sorry. My editor has just told me that the vegan source of black-eyed peas is actually the bean and not the band. Sorry!
So yeah, the black-eyed pea bean is crammed with 185mg of calcium per half a cup, and it also comes with potassium and folate. Lovely.
Where is the love …
We’re constantly told that OJ is really bad for us, but did you know that the humble orange is actually a great vegan source of calcium?
Oranges are a really flavoursome fruit, they’re perfect for the summertime and they also deserve a place in our list of foods rich in calcium. We love them, and because a piece of orange is rich in 73mg of calcium, we’re sure that you’ll love them too. The great thing about this fruit is that it can be eaten anywhere. Mmmm.
Vegans don’t actually eat fish, which is why we often get asked where we get out omega-3 fatty acids from, as well as our iodine, magnesium and calcium.
Eventually you can get so exhausted of all the interrogating that you just feel like sighing and saying, “I don’t know.”
This is where seaweed comes in. Seaweed is a vegetable and is not alive, therefore vegans can eat it. And fantastically a single raw cup of the stuff contains 126mg of calcium. That’s a really high amount. Seaweed also has plenty of other health benefits, including help with our thyroid.
If you’re not the world’s biggest cereal fan because cereals are packed with sugar, you might think that oatmeal is the only option. But cheerios are actually really good for you.
As well as lowering cholesterol, a bowl of cheerios contains 114mg of calcium. Just pour some soy milk over the top, fatten up with some sliced strawberries and you’re away! We love the stuff as a vegan source of calcium, and they certainly help to get the day off to a good start.
13. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds come with an astonishing array of health benefits. They can help with diabetes, weight problems, cardiovascular health, breast cancer, lack of energy and they can also help with our teeth and bones.
That’s right; two tablespoons of these babies contains 177mg of calcium, which equates to around 18% of our recommended daily amount. They may be tiny, but they certainly pack a punch, and these black seeds are also rich in magnesium and boron. You can eat them by themselves as a snack, or include them in your breakfast or dessert.
14. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is another one of wonderful foods rich in calcium. Hemp milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk with vegans, and also represents the perfect choice for folk who are allergic to soy.
You’re not losing out on your calcium when you substitute it for dairy milk either, as one cup of hemp milk arms you with 30% of your recommended daily amount. Moreover, hemp milk is also rich in all 10 essential amino acids, as well as omega-3’s, potassium and iron. Even better, hemp milk is eco-friendly, which basically makes it the ethical drink. And it tastes great too! (kinda nutty).
Earlier, we mentioned dried figs as an invaluable source of calcium for vegans. Fig is, in fact, the fruit that contains more calcium than any other fruit, but in case you want to mix things up a little bit and eat something different now and then, it’s well worth noting that most fruits are an excellent way of getting your calcium fix.
Tangerines contain 43mg of calcium, whilst dried apricots contain around 5mg in a single serving. The tropical kiwi fruit is another great vegan source of calcium, with one piece of the fruit congaing 34mg of calcium. Dates are good too, and come with 15mg, whilst rhubarb contains a whopping 348mg per cup.
Amaranth is a bit like quinoa in that it’s actually a seed and not a grain. And like quinoa, it is also one of the wonderful foods rich in calcium that vegans love to eat.
In fact, amaranth contains four times as much calcium than wheat, with a single cup containing 116mg. Other nutrients include iron and magnesium, with the seed an ideal choice for folk who are gluten-free. And if you’re wondering what you can do with amaranth, try a protein ball!
Okay, we know. Celery is boring. It’s pretty tasteless, and perhaps you’d rather just go without calcium, than munch on a stick of celery for lunch.
Or maybe you could just revert back to your blackstrap molasses.
Or maybe you could pour blackstrap molasses over celery! I think we’re onto something.
See, celery by itself is pretty bland, but because two cups contain 81mg of calcium, it’s a vegetable that’s a little hard to ignore. Many people coat a celery stick in peanut butter, which makes them more flavoursome. In this way, they act as the perfect calcium snack when you’re at work or camping or hiking. Even better, celery is also packed with protein.
18. Collard Greens
Greens are one of the greatest foods rich in calcium, as well as other nutrients, and collard greens should be high up your list (even if they’re low down on this one!).
A single cup of collard greens contains 266mg when boiled. That’s a whole lot more than lettuce, which pretty much means that we suggest you substitute lettuce for collard greens whenever you can. In this way you’ll be fending off all the meat-eating doubters who think you can’t get your calcium!
The Chinese have been eating Edamame for thousands of years, and if anyone knows a thing or two about how to eat healthily, it’s the Chinese. The great thing about edamame is that it’s a vegan source of calcium, and a single cooked cup contains 98mg of the nutrient.
Edamame is basically a nutritional powerhouse, and is one of the very rare non-animal foods that can be termed a complete protein. Rich in fibre, it also contains all your essential amino acids.
20. Bok Choy
And finally, last but not least in our list of foods rich in calcium is bok choy, which is basically Chinese cabbage, and comes with just 9 calories. But the real beauty is in the fact that a single cup of shredded bok choy contains 74mg of calcium. It is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. Many people use it in stir fries as it cooks really quickly, and you should be able to find it in your local supermarket.
Do you know other foods rich in calcium?
Stay happy and healthy!