When we hear calcium, we automatically think of a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt. However, there are many vegetables that provide the same amount or even more than dairy products. In today’s article, we will tell you which plant-based foods are particularly rich in calcium.
Why do we need calcium to be healthy?
Calcium is an important mineral for strong, healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Our nerves also need calcium to send messages back and forth from the brain and other parts of the body.
Not getting enough calcium can lead to many problems, such as osteoporosis, obesity and heart attack. With the exception of dairy products, there are also other sources that are rich in calcium that we should not ignore.
Many people mistakenly believe that consuming milk, yogurt or cheese through our diet will give our body the calcium it needs.
Furthermore, certain dairy products and the foods that contain them (especially desserts and pastries) are not healthy at all and contain high levels of sugar and fat. We should rather consider different foods that are naturally rich in calcium.
Plant-based sources of calcium
We have to disprove the myths that dairy products are the only source of calcium. It is actually quite the opposite. There are some foods that contain more calcium than milk. This is good news for lactose intolerant or vegan people!
The following are some calcium-rich foods:
Spinach is one of the most calcium-rich green leafy vegetables. If we eat 100 grams of raw spinach, our body gets 210 mg of calcium. When the spinach is cooked, this amount is reduced to 158 mg. However, you should remember that spinach contains oxalates, which prevent the body from absorbing certain minerals.
2. Plant-based foods rich in calcium: nuts
Number two on our list are tasty, calcium-rich nuts. They are very versatile; you can enjoy nuts in the form of milk (like almond milk), in desserts, raw, toasted etc.
Nuts reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis by preventing weak bones and promoting healthy bone growth. Due to the many benefits, they are great for people of all ages.
The nuts that offer the greatest amount of calcium are:
- Almonds (240 mg per 100 grams)
- Walnuts (170 mg per 100 grams)
- Hazelnuts (140 mg)
- Pistachios (110 mg)
Soybeans are the legumes with the largest amount of calcium. A glass of soy milk can offer the same amount of calcium as a glass of regular milk.
Soy also contains daidzein isoflavonoids which prevent decalcification of bones. It also prevents the body from excreting calcium through the urine.
Tofu is a soy product that can replace meat. It is low in calories and fat while rich in calcium, making it a great option for a vegetarian diet.
4. Plant-based foods rich in calcium: kale
Kale is another calcium-rich food. It offers 150 mg for every 100 grams. Kale does not contain oxalates, which means that it does not affect the body’s ability to absorb the nutrient. You should eat this vegetable raw.
Despite the fact that it is a vitamin C superstar that prevents us from getting sick in the winter, oranges can offer us significant amounts of calcium (60 mg per orange).
If you drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice every morning, your body will receive up to 300 mg of calcium. This is without a doubt a significant way to start the day with all the nutrients you need!
6. Plant-based foods rich in calcium: white beans
This legume growth is great for preventing bone and tooth problems. For every 100 grams of beans, there are 70 grams of calcium. If you choose dry beans, the same amount will give you 177 mg.
Onions have many benefits. They have antibacterial properties, but also offer a good amount of trace minerals (which include calcium). Each 100 grams of onion offers 20 mg of calcium. In addition, they help digestion, stimulate the appetite and are a diuretic.
8. Plant-based foods rich in calcium: chickpeas
This legume is great for versatile cooking: stews, purees, salads and more. Chickpeas contain 134 mg of calcium per 100 grams. However, this number is halved when the chickpeas are cooked. Remember that they also contain oxalates, so your body may have trouble absorbing all the calcium.
This green vegetable not only contains 20% of the recommended daily amount of calcium for adults, it also contains many other minerals: sulfur, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Add watercress to your salads!
Herbs are great for giving flavor as well as delicious aromas, but they are also rich in calcium. Basil, sage, oregano, thyme and rosemary can provide 1000 to 2300 mg of calcium for every 100 g.
Of course, we can not use that amount of herbs at once. You should therefore combine it with other calcium-rich foods to achieve a healthy combination.