Calcium is essential for stronger bones, healthy muscles, and other bodily functions. For this reason, health experts recommend including calcium-rich foods in your diet. However, the most common sources of this nutrient are dairy products, which can pose a problem for vegans. The good news is that you can also get this mineral from plant-based products. So, here are the best sources of calcium for vegans.
Amaranth is an ancient pseudocereal. To be specific, it is actually a seed, not a grain; thus, the term “pseudo.” As such, it is packed with impressive amounts of nutrients, including calcium. In fact, 100 grams of amaranth has about 47 mg of calcium. Additionally, it also contains lots of fiber and antioxidants. So, you can use this as a main ingredient for your Buddha bowl recipes. You can also swap it for oats or quinoa.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are among the best sources of calcium for vegans. In fact, many nuts and seeds have a decent amount of this essential mineral. However, almond has the highest amount compared to the rest. To be specific, it contains about 75 mg of calcium per serving (30 grams). The next one is hazelnut, with about 56 mg per serving.
Soybean products are other excellent sources of calcium for vegans. Remember, soy has high amounts of calcium. When soy is processed, it is sometimes processed or fortified with extra calcium.
An example is tofu. It is processed with added calcium sulfate. As a result, it can deliver 10 to 19% of your daily recommended calcium. Another example is soy milk. Most soy milk products are fortified with up to 1/3 of the amount of calcium your body needs each day.
Dark Leafy Vegetables
Aside from those products, among the best sources of calcium for vegans are dark leafy vegetables. However, keep in mind that many leafy greens also contain oxalic acid, a substance that can block calcium and iron absorption. The good news is that cooking can destroy this substance.
Among the best dark leafy vegetables with high amounts of calcium are kale, arugula, mustard greens, collard greens, and bok choy (Chinese cabbage).
Keep in mind that a blood test is the only way to determine if you are low in calcium. For this reason, experts suggest consulting your doctor if you suspect that you have calcium deficiency. Nevertheless, you can get the daily recommended amount of calcium if you include the different plant-based foods mentioned above.