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15 Sources of Vegan Calcium
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15 Sources of Vegan Calcium

Calcium is an essential nutrient for healthy bones and teeth, but it’s also used in maintaining nerve and muscle function, and blood clotting. It’s a common misconception that dairy products are the only reliable source of calcium. In reality, there are many plant-based sources of calcium that can help keep vegans fit and healthy.

Here’s 15 vegan-friendly sources of calcium, and some suggestions on how to easily work them into your diet.

  1. Chickpeas - not only are chickpeas a particularly good source of vegan calcium, but they can be sprouted if you fancy a change from the usual tinned or dried varieties. To sprout chickpeas, give them a good rinse and put them in a container. Cover them with water and seal the container with a cheesecloth or other mesh. Leave to soak overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas 2-3 times a day until the beans have sprouted to the desired length.
  2. Seeds - especially chia seeds, flaxseed, and sesame seeds. Add seeds to homemade salad dressings or scatter straight onto your salads for an easy calcium boost.
  3. Nuts - not only are nuts a great source of protein, but they contain calcium too. Almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts are amongst the best.
  4. Coconuts - try adding sliced coconut to noodle dishes, or use coconut milk as a base for vegan-friendly Thai soups or nutritious smoothies. Coconut water is also sold as a drink in some health stores. Raw coconut flesh is a particularly good way to keep up your calcium levels if you’re following a raw diet.
  5. Carob - although it differs from product to product, carob can contain double the amount of calcium per serving as chocolate.
  6. Tahini - sometimes called sesame butter, this paste is made from ground sesame seeds. It’s sold in jars, cans and in a powdered form in health food stores. Large grocery stores may also have fresh tahini in the chilled section.
  7. Bread - flour contains calcium, but not all bread is suitable for vegans. Always check the ingredients list for milk, eggs or butter.
  8. Dried fruit - good sources are currants, apricots, prunes and figs. Eat them on their own as a snack or add to your cereals and salads.
  9. Green, leafy veggies - top choices include broccoli, kale, turnip greens (also called “turnip tops”) and dandelion greens. Leafy greens are also high in iron, potassium, and magnesium. Try blending these nutrient-rich veggies into a super-healthy green smoothie.
  10. Blackstrap molasses - this is the thick, black syrup that’s left behind when manufacturers extract sugar from sugar cane. It’s usually sold in jars but a powdered version is also available. The nutritional content of different brands of blackstrap molasses varies, but a tablespoon can give you 20% of your RDA of calcium, not to mention magnesium, potassium, and iron, too. It may not look particularly healthy, but its rich nutritional content has led some to label it as a superfood. Add some to your morning porridge or sweet treats the next time you’re baking. It’s particularly good in ginger biscuits!
  11. Fortified foods - many vegan-friendly foods are fortified with calcium, such as breakfast cereals, soya milk, and certain juices. Check the label if you’re unsure about the calcium content.
  12. Citrus fruits - oranges are the best source of calcium when it comes to citrus fruits, although grapefruit, limes and lemons also contain significant amounts of calcium.
  13. Tofu - the amount of calcium in tofu depends on the manufacturing process. Calcium sulfate and nigari are the two most commonly-used agents. Unsurprisingly, tofu made with calcium sulfate contains more calcium than tofu made with nigari. As ever, read the label to check the exact amount.
  14. Herbs - although you’re unlikely to get your RDA of calcium from herbs alone, gram-for-gram herbs contain an impressive amount of calcium and adding a pinch to your meals is an easy way to introduce more calcium into your diet. The most calcium-rich herbs include dried savory, basil, thyme, celery seeds and dill.
  15. Amaranth grain - this tiny, calcium-rich grain can be used instead of rice, even in dishes like risotto. It’s a good source of protein to boot, although the grain isn’t edible in its raw form.
More about calcium, healthy, vegan
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  1. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    Good info. Voted.
    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you, I'm glad you found it useful!
  2. Scott Desmond
    Yes very good information
    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you! :)
  3. Doctor Mom
    Excellent information.
    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you, glad you found it useful! :)
  4. Ericka McGee
    I am very excited to read your list of calcium alternative. I just found out my daughter is allergic to dairy and I was not sure what I could do to ensure she had all the calcium she needed. I have a list from my Doctor to follow. I have stumbled upon this site in one of my searches for recipes and information for her. I am happy that I have found this.
    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you, I'm glad you found the list helpful :) There seems to be this myth that you can only get calcium from milk, cheese etc, when really there's calcium in lots of non-dairy things!
  5. No Name
    Vey nice - voted
    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you, glad you liked it! :)
  6. Dana Cherie
    Dana Cherie
    Great list! Voted :)
    1. Jessica Thornsby
      Jessica Thornsby
      Thank you!! :)


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