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Vegan Calcium Sources: Calcium Rich Foods for Vegans

We tend to associate calcium-rich foods with dairy products, but did you know, there are plenty of delicious vegan calcium sources too? We’re sharing our favourites, so you can start incorporating them into your daily diet to avoid becoming deficient.

What is Calcium and Why Do We Need It? 

Vegan Calcium Sources: Calcium Rich Foods for Vegans

Calcium is perhaps one of the most important minerals required by the body for healthy bones and teeth, and for regulating muscle contractions – including our heartbeat. Each year, 20% of calcium in adult bones is completely replaced, essentially meaning new bone cells are formed and old ones are broken down. Each day, we lose calcium to bones, nails, sweat and during toilet breaks, so it’s essential that we consume this nutrient daily – either though our diet or supplementation. Fall short and you could put yourself at risk of rickets, brittle bones, or osteopetrosis.

Nutritional guidelines state that the average adult in the UK should have a daily calcium intake of around 700mg (this rises to 1200mg for people over 54). 

Best Vegan Calcium Sources 

There are so many delicious vegan foods high in calciumand some of them may even come as a surprise! Here are just a few of them: 

1. Tofu for Calcium 

While tofu is well-known for being a complete source of protein, people are often unaware that it’s an excellent vegan calcium source too. Tofuwith added calciumpacks in 86% of the recommended daily intake in just half a cup – plus, it’s a super-versatile ingredient making it a great addition to many plant-based dishes. If you’re looking for a calcium-rich vegan comfort meal, we’d recommend delicious this delicious Tofu Panang Curry

Vegan Calcium Sources: Calcium Rich Foods for Vegans

2. Leafy Greens for Calcium  

Dark leafy greens, like broccoli and kale, are a great vegan calcium source with half a cup containing around 3-6% of your recommended daily intake of the mineral. But, if you’re not a fan, you can easily sneak them into some of your favourite plant-based dishes. And the good news is, you won’t be able to taste them! Try mixing into a vegan mac-and-cheese or bolognese for a high-protein, calcium-rich dinner. Delicious! 

Vegan Calcium Sources | Leafy Greens

3. Calcium-Fortified Foods  

Thanks to vegan diets growing in popularity, you can now find good levels of calcium in all kinds of plant-based foods and drinks. Many dairy-free milks, yoghurts, breakfast cereals, and even breads are fortified with calcium, along with other key vitamins and mineralsto ensure you’re meeting your recommended daily requirements. Plus, these calcium-fortified products are usually affordable and widely available in supermarkets, so be sure to add them to your weekly shopping list.

Vegan Calcium Sources | Plant-Based Milk

4. Figs for Calcium 

As well as containing significant amounts of antioxidants and fibre, eating approximately five dried figs per day can provide you with around 135mg of calcium, which goes a long way in helping you to achieve your recommended daily intake. Naturally sweet and bursting with flavour, figs are one of the tastiest vegan calcium sources and can be eaten raw, cooked or baked. 

Vegan Calcium Sources | Figs

5. Oranges for Calcium 

Unbeknown to many, oranges are another great vegan food high in calciumEating just one orange will provide you with 70mg of calcium, which is 6% of your recommended calcium intake for the day, as well as a great boost of vitamin C.

Vegan Calcium Sources | Oranges

6. Vitamin D for Calcium 

How is vitamin D a source of calcium we hear you ask? Put simply, it’s not. However, it’s essential in aiding the absorption of calcium. This means, even if you’re eating plenty of vegan foods high in calcium, it could be going to waste if you’re deficient in this essential vitamin.

Vitamin D is commonly sourced through exposure to the sun or animal-based foods, which makes it challenging to obtain in some geographical locations or if you follow a plant-based diet. Therefore, it’s important to have your vitamin D levels checked yearly, and take a supplement if you struggle to get a sufficient amount.  

Summary 

There is so much more to bone health than just drinking milk and eating dairy products. The above list gives you an idea of calcium-rich foods vegans should be looking to include in their diet, but there are so many more to choose from. The important thing to remember is, it’s certainly possible for vegans to get enough calcium in their diet, as long as they’re mindful of the foods they eat and have good levels of vitamin D. 

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Jenessa Hung

Jenessa Hung

Writer and expert