You probably know calcium is good for your bones, but if you’re considering switching to the vegan diet, this mineral may be difficult to come by. Calcium preserves optimal bone density, healthy teeth, and muscle mass which make consuming this mineral essential.
Since dairy products are the best-known source of calcium, the vegan diet has to include adequate alternatives that provide enough calcium for the body to stay well-nourished in the long run. Here’s a short list of some calcium-rich treats that fit the vegan bill, so check them out and use them if you want to prevent serious health problems such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.
- Dried figs – a delicious snack, dried figs make an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants as well as calcium. With up to 300 milligrams of calcium per serving cup, dried figs are a great addition to any muesli bowl or fruit salad.
- Tofu – vegan and vegetarian substitute for cheese, tofu is made from soybeans which are highly rich in both protein and calcium. With added calcium sulphate, tofu can contain up to 230 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams.
- Oatmeal – whether industrial or organic, oatmeal can be combined with soy milk and dried fruit for a light yet nutritious breakfast to meet your daily calcium requirements.
- Almonds – almonds are not just a tasty snack: they’re also one of the best nut sources of calcium, with as many as 380 milligrams of the mineral per serving cup. In addition to your calcium requirements, a handful of almonds will also take care of your daily needs in terms of iron, vitamin E, and potassium.
- Broccoli – if you’re looking for the world’s healthiest veggies, try broccoli. With impressive quantities of fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorous, iron, vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K, chromium, zinc, potassium and calcium, broccoli has pretty much everything you need on your plate – and in your organism. A cup of broccoli contains as many as 65 milligrams of calcium – which is a lot for such a simple plant.
- White beans – another product with high calcium content, white beans can be prepared and consumed in a number of ways, from salads and stews to spreads and soups. One cup of white beans contains up to 160 milligrams of calcium, which is more than the Ca you get from ½ glass of low-fat skimmed milk.
- Sesame – this energy bomb of a seed contains stunning 1000 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams, and it can also be used to make tahini, which has around 65 milligrams of calcium per tablespoon.
- Kale – extremely nutritious and rich in various minerals, vitamins and fiber, kale is another super-healthy vegetable that ranks high on the calcium quantity list. With around 100 milligrams of calcium per cup of cooked leaf, kale deserves an important place in a vegan’s diet.
- Oranges – on top of their vitamin C quantities, oranges are a great calcium source too. With 43 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams, this fruit will prove a yummy morning or midday refreshment.
- Bok-choy – a type of Chinese cabbage, bok-choy boasts as many as 170 milligrams of calcium per serving cup (in its cooked form), so give it a try if you love all your vegan shades of green.
In addition to these calcium-packed veggies and seeds, the bone-building mineral can also be found in vegan-friendly calcium supplements, fruitarians or persons with calcium deficiency. Whatever your diet of preference may be, make sure you get your calcium dose every day: without this precious mineral, your bones, teeth and health in general can deteriorate faster than you think.