Calcium is one of the most important minerals that are essential for the functioning of your body. Adults are recommended to get 1000 milligrams of this mineral per day. Calcium is a prerequisite for healthy teeth and bones. It also supports a wide array of body functions.
The most popular sources of calcium are milk products which can offer high amounts of this mineral. However, these may not be suitable for a lot of people including vegans, people with milk allergies and lactose intolerance, etc. If this is the case then counting on other sources to get the daily recommended intake is inevitable. A lot of animal products like eggs, certain fish, etc. are also a good source of calcium. However, such products cannot be consumed by vegans or vegetarians.
Therefore, people under this category will have to depend on plant-based sources for getting calcium. That said, can you get this mineral from plant-based food? Yes. There is a large number of plant foods that can offer you high amounts of calcium. They can be useful for vegans to acquire their daily calcium requirements. If you are also looking for plant-based sources to get calcium, this article can be beneficial for you. A few excellent plant-based calcium sources you need to be aware of are discussed here.
Soybeans are a good calcium source and it is worth being included in a plant-based meal. A cup of soybeans (cooked) carry 18.5% of the daily mandatory requirement and an equal amount of edamame (immature soybeans) can offer about 27.6% of RDI.
Other foods like natto, tempeh, and tofu that are made from soybeans as well; are also a wonderful source of this mineral. 100 grams of tempeh has about 11% of the RDI and natto can offer twice this amount. Additionally, you can get 350 mg of calcium from tofu made using calcium phosphate.
Soy foods are also a great source of many other beneficial compounds like fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorous, copper, folate, vitamin K1, etc. These foods are also considered complete protein sources, as they offer good amounts of all nine amino acids.
Different legumes like lentils, beans, peas, etc. can also give you rich amounts of calcium. The amount of calcium can be dependent on the variety of legumes you choose. For example, winged beans can give 26% of the RDI, whereas, this factor is 13% for white and navy beans and 11% for black beans.
Legumes are some of the popular foods of vegans because of their high nutritional value and affordability. They tend to be high in nutrients like zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron, and folate.
Additionally, eating legumes can also help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart diseases and diabetes. They are even found to decrease the chance of premature death. Hence, these plant-based foods create some of the healthiest options for you to eat.
Legumes can contain antinutrients like lectins and phytates, which are found to lower the ability of your body to absorb minerals present in the foods. However, you can reduce the levels of antinutrients by sprouting, soaking, and fermenting legumes. This can help increase the nutrient absorption by your body.
Most nuts have certain levels of calcium present in them, but some nuts like almonds are especially high in this mineral. Almonds can provide 97 mg of calcium per ¼ cup. Other nuts including Brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, etc. can offer you a small amount of this important nutrient.
Nuts are also loaded with a lot of many other nutrients, which makes them some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are high in healthy fats, fiber, protein, and a wide array of minerals like potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, etc. You can get B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin K from nuts as well. Regular consumption of nuts can help lose weight and reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes can also be averted.
Similar to nuts, seeds can also offer you an enormous number of health benefits. They can give you impressive amounts of calcium too. Nut butter like tahini (made from sesame seeds) is especially high in calcium, which can offer 130 mg of this mineral per 2 tablespoons. Flaxseeds and chia seeds also offer decent amounts of calcium.
Seeds are high in many other essential nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, etc. These foods are also linked to a large number of health benefits like reduced inflammation, lowered risk of heart diseases, decreased blood sugar levels, etc. So, you can get benefitted from the inclusion of seeds in your everyday meal plans.
The options listed above are a great source of calcium for people who want to get this mineral from plant-based sources. Apart from offering high amounts of calcium, these foods can also provide you numerous other health benefits.