You are probably getting your daily calcium requirements if you are non-vegetarian or vegetarian who loves dairy products, such as milk and cheese. Calcium is an essential mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth. It also helps in blood vessel contraction and dilation, muscle function, blood clotting, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion, according to the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements. However, you must include calcium-rich foods in your diet to reap these benefits. For vegans, it can be difficult as dairy products have the maximum amount of calcium. However, we at Only My Health have you covered as we list some of the top vegan foods high in calcium.
Also Read: 7 Health Benefits Of Eating Carrots In Summer Season
Vegan Foods High In Calcium
A vegan diet mainly consists of plant-based foods, such as grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Vegans do not eat foods derived from animals; this includes meat products, dairy products, and poultry. That said, we spoke to Dr Edwina Raj, Senior Dietician, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore, who lists down vegan foods that are rich in calcium.
Soy milk is a plant-based drink derived from soybeans. It is produced after soaking, grinding, boiling and filtering out the impurities from the soybean mixture. Although soy milk contains significantly lower amounts of calcium than cow's milk, it is the best calcium source for vegans.
Figs are rich in calcium and potassium, which work wonders for bone health. It improves bone density and prevents conditions like osteoporosis. Both raw and dried figs contain high amounts of calcium, along with other nutrients, such as fibre, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Winged beans are among the highest calcium-containing legumes. It is one of the best plant-based calcium sources for vegans. Also known as sigarilyas, it contains protein, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, and amino acids like isoleucine.
Certain seeds, such as chia and sesame, contain high amounts of calcium. What's great about these tiny foods is that they have various other nutrients like fibre, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Nuts, such as almonds, are one of the richest non-dairy sources of calcium. In addition, it contains vitamin E, fibre, magnesium, phosphorus and phytonutrients, such as flavonoids, plant sterols, and phenolic acids.
Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy vegetables, especially drumstick leaves/moringa, spinach, kale and collard greens, are good sources of calcium. They are also rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, which help maintain overall health.
Fortified foods and drinks
Fortified foods are also called enriched foods simply because they have nutrients added to them. For vegans, fortified items, such as fortified cereals, plant based milk such as oat milk, almond milk and juices, are loaded with calcium and can fulfil their daily calcium requirements.
Also Read: Cheat Day Vs Cheat Meal: Which Is Better For Weight Loss
Leading a plant-based lifestyle is good for your overall health. However, you may miss out on some essential nutrients, including calcium. That's when you should start looking for healthy alternatives. For vegans, there are many plant-based sources of calcium. You can choose various food items, from fortified foods to leafy vegetables, to fulfil your daily requirements.
(Disclaimer: Every individual's diet needs are different and unique. Information provided in this article does not subsitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.)