When it comes to maintaining strong bones and overall bone health, calcium is a nutrient that often takes center stage. While dairy products are traditionally associated with being a rich source of calcium, those following a vegan lifestyle can also meet their calcium needs through a variety of plant-based foods. In fact, many plant-based options are not only abundant in calcium but also bring a host of other health benefits to the table. In this article, we will explore five vegan foods that are high in calcium, providing you with the nourishment you need while staying true to your plant-based diet.
Leafy and Supergreens
Leafy greens are some of the most calcium-rich vegan foods available. Varieties like spinach, methi (fenugreek leaves), moringa, and bathua (lamb’s quarters) are packed with calcium and offer a range of other essential nutrients. Spinach, for example, provides around 99 mg of calcium per 100 grams. These versatile greens can be incorporated into salads, smoothies, soups, and stir-fries, making it easy to include them in your daily meals.
Ragi (finger millet) and amaranth are two nutrient-dense grains that deserve a spot in any vegan’s pantry. Ragi, in particular, is renowned for its high calcium content, containing approximately 350 mg of calcium per 100 grams. Both grains can be used to make porridge, baked goods, or even as a base for savory dishes like grain bowls.
Tofu, often referred to as “soya paneer,” is a versatile plant-based protein that is also rich in calcium. This soybean-derived product provides about 350 mg of calcium per 100 grams, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to increase their calcium intake. Tofu can be grilled, stir-fried, added to curries, or blended into creamy sauces and dressings.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are not only sources of healthy fats and protein but also pack a calcium punch. Almonds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds are among the top contenders in this category. Almonds provide approximately 264 mg of calcium per 100 grams, while chia seeds offer around 631 mg per 100 grams, and sesame seeds come in at about 975 mg per 100 grams. These nutrient-rich additions can be sprinkled on top of oatmeal, yogurt alternatives, or incorporated into baked goods.
Legumes and Pulses
Legumes and pulses are staples in vegan diets, and they also contribute to your calcium intake. Rajma (kidney beans), chickpeas, soybeans, and lentils are excellent sources of calcium. Chickpeas, for instance, provide roughly 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams. These versatile ingredients can be used in a wide range of recipes, from hearty stews and soups to protein-packed salads and curries.
In conclusion, vegans have a variety of calcium-rich foods at their disposal to maintain strong bones and overall health. Incorporating leafy greens, grains, tofu, nuts, seeds, legumes, and pulses into your diet can help you meet your daily calcium requirements while enjoying a diverse and delicious range of plant-based foods. So, go ahead and explore the world of vegan calcium sources – your bones will thank you!s