Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life: it builds strong bones, helps blood clotting, is vital for transmitting messages through the nerves, and also in the release of certain hormones. If we don’t get enough of this vital mineral through our diet then our body will leach it from our bones, leaving them weak and vulnerable. This high calcium foods list will show you the top 9 plant food sources of this essential mineral.
PLANT BASED EATING
If you’re striving towards a more plant based way of living then you may very well be wondering just how your’e going to meet your calcium needs. Most of us have been conditioned to believe that we can only get calcium from dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, but this is simply not true.
In fact, it’s so far from the truth that you probably won’t believe that I’m about to tell you that there are many plant foods that are actually HIGHER in calcium than dairy products. Yep, fact!
Not only are these foods high in calcium, but they are also super healthy in other respects and are higher in protein, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. This can make the plant based diet, when done correctly with attention to what you are eating, a very healthy way of life.
Plant based and vegan diets are not necessarily healthy:-
Attention to what you’re eating is the important part here as your health could actually be worse off if you become a junk food vegan. It is crucial before embarking on any restrictive eating plan that you have an understanding of what your body needs and exactly which foods you need to be eating to obtain it.
GETTING THE NUTRIENTS YOU NEED
On a plant based diet you need to make sure you get enough protein (which is actually way easier than you think); also adequate amounts of calcium, low GI carbohydrates, and a full spectrum of nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Sounds hard, and like too much effort right? Well believe me, I thought the same thing when I started out on the plant based lifestyle, but the benefits have been so great that I could never go back. Clear skin, clarity, vitality, and increased energy are the most prominent side effects I have noticed since cutting animal products completely from my diet.
These side effects of a plant based diet are due to the anti inflammatory effects of alkaline plant foods. Chronic inflammation is rife what with our Western diets of too much sugar, trans fats, and junk foods, and is a big contributor of disease and ill health. This is the reason I have felt so much healthier and more alive since converting to this way of eating, and I rarely get sick!
Learning the basics!
You don’t need to know everything right away; just the basics of food combining and the rest you will learn as you go along. It is so easy nowadays to live the plant based lifestyle what with the internet being awash with vegan recipes, and our supermarkets have also followed suit by stocking plant milks, cheeses, frozen meals, coconut ice creams (yummy by the way), and loads of other goodies.
Even fast food joints and restaurants are adding vegan menus, allowing you to eat out without being looked upon like an alien from outer space when you order your plate of vegetables. It’s literally never been easier to convert to this lifestyle than it is right now, and it’s only set to become an even bigger trend this year.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH CALCIUM?
When you start eating plant based, or even if you have decided to cut out dairy for whatever reason (maybe you are dairy intolerant), then you will need to be mindful of getting enough calcium into your diet, and it is best to get this from food which is more natural rather than take supplements which just aren’t absorbed as readily.
You MUST have calcium for strong bones… Simple!
Calcium is SO important to health because when you don’t get enough your bones get weaker, leaving you more susceptible to not only to breakages, but the dreaded osteoporosis that affects 1 in 2 females and 1 in 4 males at some point in their lives. These odds do often have other factors involved, such as genetics, ethnicity, bone structure, body weight, certain diseases, and some medications, BUT getting enough calcium is a major player in stopping these!
Of course these risks can be negated by making sure that you eat a healthy diet that meets all your calcium needs. You should also stay within a healthy weight range, and be sure to keep your bones strong through weight bearing exercise. It’s important that you do both of these things to see and feel the real benefits; one without the other may not cut it!
HOW MUCH CALCIUM DO I NEED?
CHILDREN – 1300MG PER DAY
WOMEN UNDER 50 – 1000MG PER DAY
WOMEN OVER 50 – 1,200MG PER DAY
MEN UNDER 70 – 1000MG PER DAY
MEN OVER 70 – 1,200 MG PER DAY
HIGH CALCIUM FOODS LIST – 9 PLANT BASED FOOD SOURCES
Tofu can be one of the best sources of calcium on a plant based diet, which is due to the fact that most tofu is already fortified with it. You will need to check different brands to find one that contains good amounts but some can offer up to 33% of your daily intake in just one cup.
Tofu is also extremely high in plant protein, and contains all 8 amino acids; plus iron, copper, zinc, B1, and the minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium.
Soy products are estrogenic, and can lead to hormone disruptions in both men and women if eaten in large quantities so you should stick with just a couple of servings a week
2. BLACK EYED PEAS
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup (canned) 370MG 38% of your daily intake.
Beans all contain calcium, but the highest by far are black eyed peas, which can easily be added to stews, soups, and salads. They also contain good amounts of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, D and C, and you can buy them canned for ease of use.
3. KALE AND SWISS CHARD
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup (cooked) 197MG 19.7% of your daily intake.
Kale and Swiss chard have the highest calcium content of all the vegetables, and also contain fiber, phytonutrients, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins C, E and A.
These greens are known superfoods due to their superior nutritional profile, and should be eaten only lightly cooked or steamed to retain their nutrients. I like to saute mine quickly with some coconut oil (fat helps the absorption of many of kale’s nutrients), then add some garlic, chili, and lemon juice. Be sure to add your fresh lemon juice at the very end of the cooking process, otherwise it goes bitter if left to cook in.
4. SESAME SEEDS
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 tablespoon 140MG 14% of your daily intake.
Sesame seeds hold the highest calcium content of all the seeds (but the others are also pretty good), and 1 tablespoon contains the same amount of calcium as half a cup of milk. You can easily eat these nutritious little seeds in the form of tahini which can be added to most meals; or use the seeds as a topping sprinkle for cereal.
Sesame seeds are best eaten ground up into a powder, OR chewed really well as your stomach won’t be able to break them down very easily.
5. BUTTERNUT SQUASH
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup 84MG 8.4% of your daily intake.
Not only is butternut squash high in calcium, but it also contains carotenoids which are great for the prevention of heart disease, arthritis and asthma.
It is also a magnificent source of nerve soothing vitamin B6, potassium, folate, panothenic acid, and manganese, making it a vegetable you should be consuming regularly on your plant based diet.
CALCIUM CONTENT- 23 nuts (large handful) 76MG – 7.6% of your daily intake.
Almonds are delicious, and full of protein and nutrients – calcium being one of them. Plus, they are an easy and transportable snack that can be popped into your handbag and taken anywhere. Perfect for those times when you’re tempted to snack on unhealthy fast foods!
They are choc full of fiber, and their skins are said to contain over 20 different antioxidant flavenoids, all of which are good for anti aging. They also contain vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, and potassium to boot – so these are a powerful little nut.
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 large orange 75MG – 7% of your daily intake.
Well who knew it? This was even a new one on me! Oranges contain a really significant amount of calcium, are delicious, and like almonds, easily transportable. They also contain what they are, of course, most famous for – vitamin C, along with other nutrients such as potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, and magnesium.
Oranges are also great for re-hydrating and refueling sugars after a workout; in fact, this makes them a perfect post workout food that you can just throw in your gym bag and off you go!
8. SWEET POTATO
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 large potato 68MG – 7% of your daily intake.
I just love sweet potato wedges baked in the oven with coconut oil and spices like garlic, paprika, and chili flakes. In fact, they are just so versatile and can be incorporated into any meal, and they’re healthier and lower GI than your average white spud. Low glycemic foods keep blood sugar stable and weight under control.
As with all orange coloured fruits and vegetables, sweet potato is high in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Sweet potatoes are another super food because of their superior nutrient content, and they are also high in vitamin C, B6, and magnesium.
CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup 62MG – 6% of your daily intake.
Another one of nature’s super foods, broccoli is not only high in vitamin A, but also contains a compound that has the ability to work on a genetic level to ‘switch off’ cancer genes AND to hinder the progression of cancer. Now if that’s not a super food then I don’t know what is.
It is also one of the highest protein vegetables, and contains lots of vitamin C, B6 and vitamin A.
CALCIUM CONTENT – per 3 figs – 52MG – 5% of your daily intake.
Figs, both raw and dried also contain magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, B6,and vitamin K, so they really are a fantastic addition to any healthy diet plan. They are delicious fresh when in season, but equally as good when dried as they go all sweet and chewy.
Add them chopped to salads; or bake fresh figs with a little honey for the ultimate sweet treat. Great with coconut yogurt, for breakfast or dessert.
11. GREEN SUPERFOOD POWDERS
There are many different types of green superfood powders such as wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina, Chlorella, and moringa to name just a few. This thing they all have in common is that along with a super high antioxidant and phytonutrient content, they all contain high levels of calcium as most green leafy foods do.
A shot of green superfood powder is vital on the plant based diet if you really want to take your health to the next level and be doubly sure you are meeting all your nutrient needs. These amazing, specially formulated powders give you energy, vitality, clarity, immune support, better sleep, anti aging benefits on the inside AND out, and many, many more benefits. Ty it for yourself if you don’t believe me!
Check out this YouTube video for a yummy way to get your calcium in a homemade chocolate treat.
Thank you for reading posts from zestforever and supporting the plant based eating cause. If you have any questions about plant based calcium or the plant based diet then please feel free to post below. Thanks