7 Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium for Vegans
We all know getting the right amount of calcium is crucial to our overall health. But on a vegan diet, it can be challenging to identify rich sources of calcium to ensure we meet our daily requirement.
Calcium is responsible for our bone health throughout our lives. As children, we need the right amount of calcium to support growth through adulthood. Beyond helping us grow, calcium works to prevent bone issues including osteoporosis, and even fighting against cancer and diabetes. It’s a critical nutrient men and women alike need everyday to live healthy lives.
It is recommended we consume around 1,000 mg of calcium on a daily basis. We can ensure our bodies get the appropriate amount of calcium by consuming foods rich in the nutrient. As we learn from an early age, milk and milk-based products are the most common sources of calcium.
The problem is, many of the most common foods filled with calcium are dairy, or otherwise non-vegan. This can make it hard to get the right amount of calcium intake when following a vegan diet. However, there are plenty of non-dairy and vegan foods that are rich in calcium and help us get our recommended daily amount of the nutrient.
Before you default to calcium supplements, try out these non-dairy, vegan sources of calcium:
Soybeans have a high amount of calcium, and can easily support your overall calcium intake. Just a cup of cooked soybeans can account for close to 19% of your recommended daily intake.
Soy can be found in a lot of vegan products, including tempeh and tofu. Both can be prepared a number of ways: in soups, as a meat substitute in sandwiches, and as part of many other meals. You can also find soy in edamame, miso, and soy milk which is totally dairy-free. What’s more, they’re a great source of fiber and other important vitamins that will contribute to your overall health.
Lentils and beans are both excellent sources of vegan protein that can be incorporated into plenty of meals. Chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, lentils and many other types are packed full of calcium, as well as many other nutrients including zinc, iron, magnesium and more.
Lentils and beans also can have a significant impact on our longevity. To help with cholesterol levels, these foods can lower the LDL level, which is the “bad” type of cholesterol. Incorporating lentils and beans into your everyday diet can contribute to better heart health as well as strong bones!
Nuts are excellent sources of protein that you can enjoy throughout the day. You can have nuts as a snack, or add them to your meals for a boost of nutrition.
Particularly almonds, cashews and pine nuts have at least 5 grams of protein per serving. While these nuts contain the highest amounts of calcium, most other nuts are a great source of the important nutrient. They also have a great amount of healthy fats which support your heart’s health and other key organ functions.
It may not seem like it, but seaweed is a great source of protein. It’s very high in the nutrient, and a serving can account for up to 12% of your recommended daily intake.
You can enjoy seaweed cooked, raw or dried in a variety of meals. To get the highest amount of calcium seaweed can provide, you will want to eat it raw. It’s often used in soups, salads, and other dishes for added flavor and extra nutrition.
Oranges are one of the top fruit sources of calcium, with a whole orange accounting for a little over 50 milligrams total. They’re rich in other nutrients as well, and help to prevent gum disease and other significant health issues.
If oranges themselves aren’t enough calcium, many orange products do. Particularly orange juice is fortified with extra calcium to add to your overall intake with each serving.
Broccoli is truly one of the healthiest vegetables there is, and offers a lot of different nutrients, including calcium. If you want the maximum amount of calcium broccoli has to offer, you’ll want to enjoy it raw: cooked broccoli has slightly less calcium overall.
Broccoli really is a superfood, and helps to prevent a number of potential health issues including cancer and heart disease. It’s also high in protein and fiber, giving you the nutrition you need to stay in great shape.
Bok choy is a tasty leafy green that is packed with vitamins and nutrients we need everyday. It’s a popular addition to many types of soups, and can also be enjoyed as a side dish in various meals.
Bok choy is also full of Vitamins A and C, which work as antioxidants to help protect the body from infection and other harmful illnesses.
There are plenty of non-dairy, vegan sources of calcium that those who follow vegan and vegetarian diets can enjoy. Prioritizing calcium intake is important to long-term health and helping to prevent serious issues.
At Japan Vegan Town, we have a range of non-dairy vegan products that are filled with calcium. Our products are completely vegan and healthy, and follow a macrobiotic diet. They are non-GMO, and contain no MSG or refined sugars, and are made in Japan. Take advantage of the products we have to offer to help increase your overall calcium intake to ensure you get your daily nutrition needs!