Vegans need as much calcium as meat-eaters, and it is a common misconception that people eating a plant-based diet have a harder time getting calcium through food sources alone. In reality, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, it just so happens that the sources vegans get their calcium from are not only healthier but also more varied.
From legumes (beans) and seeds to thistles (artichokes) and cane sugar syrup (molasses), there are numerous delicious and nutrient-rich plant-based sources to choose from. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, “Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion.”
Recommended Calcium Intake
As with other vitamins and minerals, it is always best to acquire calcium through all-natural sources—principally the food you eat. Although calcium supplements are available, the quality of the mineral in this form is far inferior to the calcium found in plant sources, which comes in a form that is much more easily absorbed and utilized by the body.
Here is a list of the best natural, vegan sources of calcium.
Soybeans: 1 cup serving contains 261 mg
White Beans: 1 cup serving contains 126 mg
Pinto Beans: 1 cup serving contains 76 mg
Hemp Milk: 1 cup serving contains 130 mg
NUTS AND SEEDS
Sesame Seeds: ¼ cup serving contains 350 mg
Chia Seeds: 2 oz. serving contains 358 mg
Almond Butter: 2 tablespoon serving contains 111 mg
Collard Greens: 1 cup serving contains 268 mg
Turnip Greens: 1 cup serving contains 76 mg
Kale: 1 cup serving contains 94 mg
Broccoli: 1 raw stalk contains 115 mg
Fennel: 1 bulb contains 71 mg
Artichoke: 1 artichoke contains 25 mg
Amaranth: 1 cup serving contains 116 mg
Blackcurrants: 1 cup serving contains 62 mg
Figs: ½ cup serving contains 120 mg
Oranges: 1 orange contains 50-60 mg
Blackberries: 1 cup serving contains 40 mg
Blackstrap Molasses: 2 tablespoon serving contains 120 mg
So what is your daily recommended intake (DRI) of calcium?
The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) has established what our daily intake levels of calcium should be, and they vary depending on a person’s age, gender and health status. It is crucially important to your health that you know what your own recommended intake is.
Between the age of 0 months and 3 years, the DRI is between 200 mg and 700 mg. For persons of either gender between the age of 4 years and 18 years, the DRI is between 1,000 mg and 1,300 mg. If you are between 19 and 70 ears old, your DRI is 1,000 mg. And for men and women over the age of 70, the DRI jumps back up to 1,200 mg.
It is also important to note that if you are pregnant or nursing and between the age of 14 and 18, your DRI remains the same as your regular DRI (1,300 mg), and if you are pregnant or nursing and between the age of 19 and 50, the same is true (your DRI will be 1,000 mg).
A great way to get more of the calcium-rich foods we mentioned into your regular diet is with our vegan meal delivery service. Since we prepare our healthy plant-based meals using many of these fantastic plant-based foods, you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to buy them or how you should prepare them in the tastiest ways possible. Getting enough calcium in your vegan diet can be as easy as sitting down to enjoy three delicious, calcium-rich meals a day.