Where do vegans get their calcium?
It’s a question I get asked often, and it’s something that many people are curious about, when they come to a vegan lifestyle.
Thankfully, most people can easily meet their calcium needs on a whole foods plant-based diet, and you don’t need to be consuming dairy products, in order to have strong bones!
In fact, increased dairy consumption has not only been shown to have no effect on preventing bone fractures, it has actually been associated with a higher fracture risk!  (Dairy products also contain a whole host of other nasties, so it’s definitely worth giving them a miss!)
So what is calcium? Calcium is a mineral that’s used by the body for nerve and muscle function. It’s also important for maintaining bone health, and plays an essential role in ensuring normal blood clotting, cellular growth and immunoregulation.
The recommendations for how much calcium we should be consuming varies between different health authorities, but as a rule of thumb, I usually suggest that healthy people aim to eat foods containing between 500-1000mg of calcium a day.
As vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium, it’s also important to make sure that you’re not deficient. Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, however, even those who live in the tropics are often not getting enough, so I always recommend that most people supplement with vitamin D. (Affiliate link)
So, with our vitamin D covered, let’s take a look at some of the best (and most delicious) vegan sources of calcium! 😋
The Best Vegan Sources of Calcium
- Low Oxalate Green Leafy Vegetables – These include kale, cabbage, spring greens, collard greens, mustard greens and broccoli. Unfortunately, spinach, beet greens and swiss chard are all high in oxalates, which impedes calcium absorption. (These foods are still great for many other things though!)
- Calcium-Rich Fruits – Apricots, oranges, papayas and figs are all wonderful, whole-food sources of calcium, which are packed with nutrients and have many other health benefits as well!
- Seeds and Nuts – Sesame seeds are loaded with calcium, as are sesame seed products such as tahini and hummus. Flaxseeds, chia seeds and almonds are also great sources of calcium too!
- Beans and Soy Products – White beans such as butterbeans and cannellini beans are rich in calcium, and tofu that has been set with calcium is another great source of it too!
- Fortified Plant Milks – There are lots of dairy milk alternatives to choose from and many brands of soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk and oat milk all come with added calcium (be sure to shake the bottle before consuming them though, as the calcium sinks to the bottom).
- Fortified Cereals – Many other vegan-friendly products including breads and cereals are also fortified with calcium.
- Blackstrap Molasses – Blackstrap molasses is high in calcium and contains many other essential minerals, which are important for maintaining bone health.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! What are your favourite calcium-rich foods? I’d love to know your thoughts! 💕