Given vegan calcium sources are go-to dairy alternatives for vegans, lactose intolerants, and for people who are following weight loss diets.
People used to inquire that how to meet your daily calcium needs from a vegan diet when all the celebrated sources of calcium are dairy products? Do you think the same?
Well, it’s true that dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, however, it’s not right to claim that you cannot get calcium as a vegan.
Plant world entails foods high in calcium that come without the harmful or allergic reactions of dairy to diet-specific people.
So, if you’re a vegan looking to ensure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet without relying on animal sources? You’re in luck, this guide is for you.
Vegan Calcium Sources
Different food groups tend to hold a specific range of calcium you can tailor to your meals in a good way. Try to incorporate a wide variety of ingredients to your food so that you can get enough calcium and other minerals on daily basis.
For instance, an appetizing bowl of salad filled with colorful veggies, nuts, seeds, and herbs is the best source of indulging plant-based calcium. Similarly, top up your vegan savory treats with some dried spices and herbs to get zero-effort calcium.
Here’s find out non-dairy sources of calcium to add to your meal planner and enjoy a healthy living.
1. Dairy Alternatives
Dairy alternatives are replacement options of dairy products such as fortified cheese and plant-based milk or yogurt. Try these substitutes to get an easy dose of vegan calcium every day.
The best dairy milk alternatives are cereal based (oat and rice milk), legume based (soybean and peanut milk), and nut based (almond, cashew, and coconut milk) milk products. All of these are good to make sweet treats and baked goods in a same way as dairy milk.
With a nutritional profile closely similar to dairy milk, these vegan milk alternatives offer a huge variety to cover your all ingredient-specific allergies.
According to a U.S Department of Agriculture, the calcium content of dairy milk alternatives ranges from 105mg to 200mg per 100ml on average.
Similarly, a number of vegan-friendly cheese brands are easily reachable out there to give your traditional foods a cheesy twist without relying on animal ingredients.
The most trendy vegan cheeses such as almond feta, almond cream cheese, soy cheddar, soy mozzarella, and cashew cream cheese offer an adequate quantity of calcium when fortified.
Besides, you can also get your daily calcium from dairy yogurt alternatives such as plain vegan yogurt, soy milk yogurt, hemp milk yogurt, flaxseed yogurt, chia seed yogurt, and coconut milk yogurt.
Read nutritional labels of the products to confirm the vegan ingredient profile, calcium content, and the presence of any allergen.
When it comes to the concern of getting enough plant-based calcium, vegetables are true blessings for vegans. These green wonders, like leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, are packed with calcium your body needs to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, Bok choy, and Swiss chard are the best vegan sources of calcium. A single serving of these individual veggies contains 50mg to 200mg of calcium on average.
Likewise, cruciferous veggies are another category of calcium-containing vegan foods you can try to maintain your health. These include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts.
100g serving of each of these veggies contain 50mg to 90mg of calcium on average. Moreover, these vegetables also provide limited calories and thus are good for weight loss diets.
Add these vegetarian sources of calcium to your central soups, toss them in salads or omelets, blend them in smoothies, include them in stir-fries, or wrap them to make good to go savory wraps. Either way, you’ll get an easy dose of vegan calcium three times a day.
3. Legumes And Whole Grains
These small but mighty wonders of the plant kingdom pack a punch when it comes to this essential mineral, calcium. From creamy white beans to hearty chickpeas and earthy lentils, these legumes not only deliver a dose of calcium but also bring along an array of other health benefits.
Legumes such as white beans, navy beans, chickpeas, black beans, and lentils are the best vegan foods high in calcium. Their calcium content varies from 40mg to 150 mg per serving on average.
Besides, the way you can tweak your routine meals by adding legumes is another great advantage to you as a vegan.
Legumes are always handy to make hearty soups, stews, salads, dips, and spreads. As a quick meal idea, you can also prepare legumes as a side dish using herbs, spices, and crunchy vegetables.
Well, what about whole grains? Whole grains including quinoa, oats, brown rice, and millet are an exotic source of vegan calcium, offering a natural and wholesome way to boost your intake.
Make sure you add any of these whole grains to your daily breakfast to boost your plant-based calcium intake. In addition of making grain salad, porridge, soup, or a filling breakfast bowl, you can also incorporate them to your baked items and pancakes as a healthy sweet treat.
4. Herbs And Spices
Although the availability of calcium from herbs and spices varies depending on the way how these are sourced and processed, they are still the best vegan calcium sources to meet your daily calcium intake limit.
The herbs and spices like thyme, cinnamon, parsley, basil, oregano, paprika, and sage are high in calcium and belong to a group of culinary essentials that you’ll definitely have on hand all time.
A single tablespoon of each of these herbs can provide 10mg to 70 mg of calcium on average.
So, from the refreshing notes of basil and thyme to the savory profiles of oregano and sage, these calcium-rich herbs and spices can be easily incorporated into a wide range of culinary creations, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of both taste and nutrition.
Sprinkle them on your savory treats including fresh salads, omelettes, soups, sauces, dips, roasts, and curries to add up extra calcium to your diet.
5. Calcium-Rich Vegan Condiments
Getting your dietary calcium from savory and delicious condiments seems like enjoying both taste and nutrition altogether.
Although, these vegan condiments can not provide as much plant-based calcium as other dairy alternatives and leafy greens do, these can still boost your calcium intake without tweaking your routine meals.
Vegan condiments including almond butter, blackstrap molasses, miso paste, tamari sauce, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and coconut aminos are good plant-based calcium sources.
So, prepare a salad dressing, miso soup, salsa, vegan pesto, curry, hummus, and vegan cheese sauces using these condiments and forget about calcium deficiency ever.
Why Are Vegan Calcium Sources Important?
Calcium is a super nutrient well known for its ability to make the bones, muscles, and teeth strong. However, you also need calcium to optimize other cellular processes such as blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, hormonal regulation, enzymatic activity, cell signaling and many more.
Moreover, the proper dietary intake of calcium is also associated with the reduced risk of gaining weight and developing chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart problems.
However, to get all these benefits of calcium, you need to make sure its intake up to your daily dietary recommendations.
According to the health and nutrition board of National Academy of Sciences (NAS), it is recommended to take 1000mg of calcium for adults of 19 to 49 years and 1200mg for adults aged more than 50.
And such a significant calcium intake tends to be lower than recommended in vegans who avoid dairy. It’s not because of vegans have limited food choices or they’re unable to devour enough calcium from plant-based diet, it’s actually because of poor meal planning.
As a vegan, you have to plan your meals in a way to add up calcium-rich options and do some proactive changes to your dietary habits. Go through the above-listed plant-based sources of calcium to include to your meals to aim for consuming 1000mg of calcium each day.