How to Get Calcium as a Vegan

If you follow a vegan diet, you may be wondering how to get enough calcium without consuming dairy products. The good news is that there are plenty of plant-based sources of calcium that can help you meet your nutritional needs. By incorporating these calcium-rich foods into your diet, you can ensure you’re getting the recommended daily intake of this essential mineral.

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are an excellent source of calcium for vegans. These nutrient-dense greens not only provide a good amount of calcium but also offer other essential vitamins and minerals. Some common leafy greens high in calcium include:

  • Kale: 1 cup of cooked kale contains about 94 mg of calcium.
  • Collard greens: 1 cup of cooked collard greens contains approximately 268 mg of calcium.
  • Spinach: 1 cup of cooked spinach offers around 245 mg of calcium.

With these options, you can easily incorporate leafy greens into your diet through salads, stir-fries, or smoothies.

2. Fortified Plant Milk

In recent years, the market for plant-based milk alternatives has expanded significantly. Many of these options are now fortified with calcium and other essential nutrients. Fortified plant milk, such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk, can be an excellent source of calcium for vegans. Check the label to ensure the product contains an adequate amount of calcium per serving.

3. Tofu and Tempeh

Tofu and tempeh, both made from soybeans, are renowned for their versatility in vegan cooking. Not only are they excellent sources of plant-based protein, but they also provide calcium. Here is the calcium content for typical servings:

Tofu TypeCalcium (per 100g)
Calcium-set tofu350-500 mg
Regular tofu130-250 mg

Tempeh also contains around 111 mg of calcium per 100g. Incorporating tofu and tempeh into your meals can help increase your calcium intake while providing a satisfying source of plant-based protein.

4. Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts not only add crunch and flavor to your meals but can also be excellent sources of calcium. Here are some calcium-rich options:

  • Chia seeds: 1 ounce of chia seeds contains about 180 mg of calcium.
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds offers approximately 88 mg of calcium.
  • Almonds: 1 ounce of almonds provides around 75 mg of calcium.

These are just a few examples, as many other types of seeds and nuts also contain calcium. Add them to your salads, sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal, or enjoy them as a snack to boost your calcium intake.

5. Legumes

Legumes are a versatile and nutritious food group that includes beans, lentils, and chickpeas. They not only offer a good amount of protein and fiber but are also a notable source of calcium. Incorporating these legumes into your vegan diet can help boost your calcium levels. Here are some legumes and their calcium content:

  • White beans: 1 cup of cooked white beans contains around 191 mg of calcium.
  • Black beans: 1 cup of cooked black beans offers approximately 84 mg of calcium.
  • Lentils: 1 cup of cooked lentils provides about 37 mg of calcium.

These legumes can be enjoyed in soups, stews, salads, or even used as a base for veggie burgers.

Incorporating these plant-based sources of calcium into your vegan diet can help you meet your nutritional needs without relying on dairy products. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice on meeting your calcium needs as a vegan.