What’s the main source of calcium that comes to mind? Typically milk, but vegans, vegetarians and those who are intolerant to milk have to pay special attention to their calcium intake as dairy is not attainable in their diets.
Luckily, there are a number of plant-based options that those who are dairy-free can get their calcium from. Here’s what my top ten favorite sources of plant-based calcium options include:
Kale is an excellent source of plant-based calcium that has a calcium content of 101mg. What I love the most about kale is that it is so easy to incorporate into your meals. I love to add kale into my green smoothies in the morning that way I can get my calcium intake at the start of the day.
Aside from smoothies, kale can be cooked into nearly every meal and can be prepared in many ways.
Tempeh has a calcium content of 184mg, making it an excellent plant-based calcium source. Similar to tofu, it is a great vegan/vegetarian source of protein making it so easy to consume on a plant-based, dairy-free diet.
Almonds are rich in calcium with a content of 243mg. If I were to recommend any healthy snack to have with you on-the-go, it would be almonds not only because of their high calcium content, but because of their benefits like supplying you with healthy fats, proteins and promoting strong heart health.
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds that contain about 64mg of calcium in one tablespoon. The food options that you can make with tahini are endless: hummus, salad dressings and even sweeter things like cookies and cakes.
While those who aren’t dairy-free have milk for calcium, that option is out of the question for those who are dairy-free. Luckily, dairy-free milks contain calcium, although you may have to consume a bit more than one would consume regular milk to get the proper amount.
Soy milk contains around 61mg of calcium in one cup. (A very similar calcium content goes for almond milk if you aren’t a fan of soy milk.)
While chia seeds may be very tiny in size, do not underestimate their power. Just 25g of chia seeds has around 157mg of calcium. You can add them into your oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies/smoothie bowls and even make your own chia seed pudding.
We typically connect oranges with granting us vitamin C, but did you know they are rich in calcium as well? There are around 72mg of calcium in one cup of raw orange juice.
Oranges are the perfect fruits to accompany your breakfast with!
According to Women’s Health, a half cup of dry oats has 200mg of calcium alone, but usually oats are combined with milk when cooked. Add your dairy-free milk of choice like soy or almond milk to your oats when cooking them and you’ll have double the amount of calcium than what you started off with.
Another quick and satisfying snack that is so quick and easy to prepare is edamame. Edamame has 98mg of calcium in just one cup.
A fun way to prepare these is by roasting them with a bit of sea salt or you can even sprinkle them over a salad or stir-fry.
Lastly, quinoa holds around 60-100mg of calcium in just one cup. Aside from its significant calcium content, quinoa is a great alternative to rice making it a perfect replacement to eat with your protein and vegetables.
Contrary to popular belief, there are always alternatives that can grant your body the proper nutrients on a plant-based or dairy-free diet. It’s all about making sure you know exactly what foods to eat and what foods are rich in what your body needs.