How to get calcium on a vegan diet : Calcium is essential to your body.
It is well known for its ability to build and maintain bone density. This mineral, however, is also necessary for muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.
Adults should consume 1,000 milligrams per day as their RDA. This increases to 1,200 milligrams for those over 50, and to 1,300 milligrams for children aged 4 to 18.
Nonetheless, a sizable proportion of the population fails to meet these guidelines. Many people avoid eating animal products and dairy, despite the fact that many plant foods contain this mineral.
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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Here are the top 10 vegan foods high in calcium:
Soy Foods – How to get calcium on a vegan diet
Calcium is found naturally in soybeans. One cup (175 grams) cooked soybeans provides 18.5% of the RDI, whereas the same amount of immature soybeans (edamame) provides around 27.6%.
This mineral is also found in soybean products such as tofu, tempeh, and natto. Tofu containing calcium phosphate has 350 milligrams per 3.5 ounces.
Tempeh and natto, both made from fermented soybeans, also have high levels. One 3.5-ounce serving of tempeh provides approximately 11% of the RDI, whereas natto provides roughly twice that amount.
Soy foods that have been minimally processed are also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, they are one of the few plant foods that are considered a complete source of protein.
That’s because, while most plant foods are deficient in at least one of the nine essential amino acids, soybeans are high in all of them.
How to get calcium on a vegan diet
2 – Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Beans and lentils are high in calcium, in addition to being high in fiber and protein.
The following varieties have the highest levels of this mineral per cooked cup:
white beans: 26% of the RDI winged beans: 26% of the RDI 13% of the RDI for navy beans: 13% of the RDI for black beans: 11% of the RDI for chickpeas: kidney beans provide 9% of the RDI, lentils provide 7% of the RDI, and rice provides 4% of the RDI.
Furthermore, beans and lentils are high in other nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and folate.
They do, however, contain antinutrients such as phytates and lectins, which reduce your body’s ability to absorb other nutrients.
Antinutrient levels in beans and lentils can be reduced by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting them, making them more absorbable.
Furthermore, diets high in beans, peas, and lentils lower LDL cholesterol, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and premature death.
3 – Certain Nuts
All nuts have trace amounts of calcium, but almonds have the most, with 97 milligrams per 1/4 cup, or about 10% of the RDI.
Brazil nuts come in second to almonds, providing around 6% of the RDI per 1/4 cup, while walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts provide between 2-3%.
Nuts are also high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein. They’re also high in antioxidants and high in B vitamins, magnesium, copper, potassium, and selenium, as well as vitamins E and K.
Eating nuts on a regular basis may aid in weight loss, blood pressure control, and the reduction of risk factors for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
4 – Seeds
Seeds and their butters are also high in calcium, but the amount varies depending on the variety.
Tahini, a sesame seed butter, has the most, with 130 milligrams per 2 tablespoons, or 13% of the RDI. In comparison, the same amount of sesame seeds provides only 2% of the RDI.
Chia and flax seeds are also good sources, providing about 5-6% of the RDI per 2 tablespoons.
Seeds, like nuts, provide fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Furthermore, they have been linked to health benefits such as lower inflammation, blood sugar levels, and risk factors for heart disease.
5 – Some Grains
Grains aren’t typically thought of as a calcium source. Nonetheless, some varieties have high levels of this mineral.
Amaranth and teff, two gluten-free ancient grains, for example, provide about 12% of the RDI per cooked cup.
Both are high in fiber and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Teff can be made into porridge or added to chili, whereas amaranth can be used in place of rice or couscous. Both of these ingredients can be ground into flour and used to thicken soups and sauces.
6 – Seaweed
Including seaweed in your diet is yet another way to boost your calcium intake.
Wakame, a raw variety, contains about 126 mg, or 12% of the RDI per cup. It is available in most Asian supermarkets and sushi restaurants.
Kelp, which can be eaten raw or dried, is another popular option. One cup of raw kelp, which can be added to salads and main dishes, provides about 14% of the RDI. Dried kelp flakes can also be used as a seasoning.
However, seaweed may also contain high levels of heavy metals. Some varieties, such as kelp, can contain excessively high levels of iodine per serving.
While iodine is required for proper thyroid gland function, too much can be harmful. For these reasons, seaweed should not be consumed in large quantities or on a regular basis.
How to get calcium on a vegan diet
7 – Certain Vegetables and Leafy Greens
Some vegetables, particularly those that are bitter, such as dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, are high in calcium.
Spinach, bok choy, turnip, mustard, and collard greens, for example, contain 84-142 milligrams per cooked 1/2 cup, or 8-14% of the RDI.
Okra, kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are also calcium-rich vegetables. Per cooked 1/2 cup, these provide about 3-6% of the RDI.
However, vegetables contain varying levels of antinutrients such as oxalates. In your gut, oxalates can bind to calcium, making it difficult for your body to absorb.
According to research, your body may only absorb about 5% of the calcium found in high-oxalate vegetables.
As a result, low- and moderate-oxalate vegetables like turnip greens, broccoli, and kale are thought to be better sources than higher-oxalate vegetables like spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard.
Boiling can reduce oxalate levels by 30-87%. Surprisingly, it appears to be more efficient than either steaming or baking.
8 – Some Fruit
Some fruit varieties have high calcium content.
Raw figs, for example, contain 18 milligrams — or nearly 2% of the RDI — per fig. Dried figs provide slightly less, approximately 13 milligrams per fig.
Oranges are another fruit with a high calcium content. Depending on the variety, they contain 48-65 mg, or 5-7% of the RDI per medium-sized fruit.
This list is completed by blackcurrants, blackberries, and raspberries.
Blackcurrants contain approximately 65 milligrams of calcium per cup, or approximately 7% of the RDI, whereas blackberries and raspberries contain 32-44 milligrams per cup.
In addition to calcium, these fruits provide fiber, vitamin C, and a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
9 – Fortified Foods and Drinks
Calcium is added to some foods and beverages during the manufacturing process. They are yet another excellent source of this mineral.
Calcium-fortified foods include plant yogurts and some cereals. This mineral is sometimes added to flour and cornmeal, which is why some baked goods, such as breads, crackers, and tortillas, contain large amounts.
Calcium-fortified beverages, such as plant milks and orange juice, can also supplement your diet significantly.
For example, 1 cup of fortified plant milk of any kind typically provides around 30% of the RDI — or 300 milligrams of highly absorbable calcium. 1 cup of fortified orange juice, on the other hand, usually covers up to 50% of your daily requirements.
Soy milk, in particular, is a great substitute for cow’s milk because it contains roughly the same amount of protein — or 7 grams per cup.
Keep in mind that not all plant milks are fortified, so read the label carefully before purchasing.
10 – Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is a nutritionally dense sweetener.
It’s made from three times boiled sugar cane. Unlike sugar, it contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including 179 milligrams of calcium per tablespoon (or 18% of the RDI).
1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains nutrients that can help you meet 5-15% of your daily requirements for iron, selenium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and manganese.
However, blackstrap molasses contains a lot of sugar and should be consumed in moderation.
Calcium is essential for bone and muscle health, as well as the circulatory and nervous systems. Despite this, many people, including vegans, do not get enough of this nutrient.
Dairy is frequently thought to be the sole source of this mineral. It is, however, naturally present in a wide variety of plant foods, ranging from grains and legumes to fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It can also be found in seaweed and blackstrap molasses.
Furthermore, this nutrient is added to a variety of foods. As a result, variety is essential when trying to meet your calcium needs on a vegan diet.
Top 10 Vegan Sources of Calcium
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Top 10 Vegan Sources of Calcium DEALS
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