Getting the right dose of calcium is vital to the overall health and development of our bones, but what’s the best source? While dairy products might be lauded for their calcium content, they’re certainly not the only option out there – great news for those on a vegan diet. So read on for 12 delicious sources of calcium that are great for vegans and non-vegans alike.
According to a Harvard study collard greens contain more calcium than a glass of milk. The dark leaves are also packed full of other vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K. Although collard has some of the highest levels of calcium, there are plenty of other super-food greens high in the mineral, including kale and spinach.
Perhaps surprisingly, tofu contains more calcium than the soybeans it’s made from. In fact, a 100 gram serving of tofu provides you with more than a third of your daily dosage of calcium. This is because calcium sulfate is often used in the process of making tofu. The perfect excuse for whipping up a nutritious tofu stir-fry.
3. Dried Figs
Figs have the highest calcium content of any fruit, but it’s when they’re dried that the concentration of nutrients dramatically increases. As well as calcium, dried figs can provide a great source of potassium and fiber.
The almond is the king of the nut world when it comes to its health benefits. But you may not realise that this humble nut is also a fantastic source of calcium. Rather than relying solely on almond milk, try eating the whole, raw nut to fully benefit from almond’s rich calcium content.
5. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage. Like other members of the brassica family, which include kale, spinach and broccoli, bok choy is rich in calcium. In fact, one cup contains as much absorbable calcium as a glass of milk. The delicate flavor of bok choy makes it a versatile veg, perfect in stirfrys or as a side dish.
Okra is another vegetable with a high calcium content. The plant belongs to the same family as cotton and cacao and is prized for its pods, which can be eaten raw or cooked.
7. Sunflower Seeds
As well as being a great healthy snack, you can also count on sesame seeds to provide you with a decent dose of calcium. You may also want to try sesame seeds for great source of content you can add to other dishes too.
We’ve already sung the praises of other members of the brassica family, but arugula deserves a special mention. This leafy plant contains high levels of Vitamin A and C and is an especially big hitter when it comes to calcium. Due to its bioactive nature, the body absorbs calcium from arugula more easily than it does from milk.
9. White Beans
In general beans are very high in calcium. We all know about the wonders of soy, but let’s not forget about the other legendary legumes, including chickpeas and white beans. In fact, one cup of chickpeas contains 70mg of calcium.
You may not realise that rhubarb is in fact a vegetable, and not just any old vegetable. The bright red stalks are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, magnesium, and calcium.
You may have heard about this super seaweed recently. Although a staple of Korean, Chinese and Japanese cooking, wakame is now making it big in the US for its fantastic nutritional benefits. As well as being a delicious addition to salad, it’s also a fantastic source of easily-absorbed calcium.
Oranges are never going to give you all of your calcium needs but they are surprisingly rich in the mineral, alongside vitamin C of course. One cup of raw orange sections can provide 71 mg of calcium according to the USDA, which makes it one of the most calcium-rich fruits out there.