by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

Just a quick foray into your inbox this Sunday evening. My sister arrived a few days ago on a totally surprise visit from the UK, so I've been hanging out with her most the weekend. I therefore thought this post could legitimately wait until Sunday night, and I do hope that you don't mind (if you follow me on Instagram you may have caught my boomie and insta story with my sis here). Now just crossing fingers that Mila stays asleep a little longer so I can get this out to you before the dinner bell calls!

 A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.

If you've been following my blog for a while now, you may have already read my other key posts on plant-based iron and protein. These two nutrients, along with calcium (and B12), are some of the most commonly questioned in terms of whether you can get enough of them on a plant-based diet.  So here's a nice little summary for you today on (a) why you need calcium, (b) how much you need, (c) what can inhibit and enhance absorption, and (d) (most importantly), where oh where you can get it.

A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.

Now, unlike what's commonly marketed, cow's milk and yoghurt are NOT the best sources of calcium. In fact, a significant and growing body of research actually shows that an excess intake of dairy products as well as animal protein in general, actually leads to calcium excretion from the body, as opposed to absorption. Plant foods are therefore a much safer, as well as considerably kinder and more sustainable way to get your daily calcium fix.

      A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.

      To make it nice and easy for you, I've scoured the nutritional databases and research to whittle down the top 75 sources of this lovely nutrient, in an easy to read table below. Have a friend or family member who's worried about their calcium intake? Osteoporosis, menopause, or kids? Forward this email to them! I'd love to expand both their and your horizons, into the infinitely delicious and wonderful world of plant-based calcium containing foods.

      A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.

      Calcium - why do we need it?
      So why do we need calcium? Here are the two main reasons why...

      • Calcium helps grow and repatriate healthy bones and teeth
      • Calcium assists with muscle contraction, including that needed in our heart (think of it as the opposite to magnesium, the muscle relaxant).

      How much do I need?
      The recommended daily intakes for calcium are as follows. Now these numbers may not mean that much in themselves, but read these in conjunction with the top food sources below and you'll soon see how you can fill out your numbers easily. If you're eating a varied plant-based diet, as I recommend, with lots of greens, nuts and seeds, legumes, tofu and tempeh, you'll be getting ample amounts.

      • Infants 1-3 years - 500mg/day
      • Children 4-8 years - 700mg/day
      • Women, Men & Pregnancy - 1000mg/day
      • Elderly (>50 yrs for men, >70 yrs for women) - 1300mg/day

      What can impact absorption?
      Note that vitamin D enhances absorption, while phytates, oxalates and tannins inhibit absorption. This means:

      • Vitamin D - make sure you're getting half an hour in the sun each day (early morn and late afternoon in summer, midday in winter).
      • Phytates - soak your nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains (more tips on that here).
      • Oxalates - don't eat too many raw dark leafy vegetables or beetroot (sometimes it's good to lightly steam them to reduce your oxalate intake).
      • Tannins - don't drink too much black tea with your meals. Now this doesn't mean you have to avoid the old English Brekky completely (I certainly don't - I love it!). But if you're having issues with absorption then you might want to reduce your consumption for a while, or just have it at least an hour outside of meals.

      A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.

      And finally - where can I find my calcium!
      We’re often told by media (who are sponsored in large part by the cash-rich dairy corporations) that the best sources of calcium are cow's milk, yoghurt and cheese. Not true my friends. There are a plethora of other sources, many of which are much higher in calcium than their dairy counterparts. Here is my comprehensive list of the world's Top 75 Sources of Plant-Based Calcium, from sesame seeds and tahini, to tofu, tempeh, dark leafy greens, spices and spirulina. I've even included a few dairy products in there too, just so you can see where they stand. You’ll be blown away at the selection!

      Top Plant-Based Calcium Foods

      Click on each food below to read more and order from our online store

      Ranking Food Calcium (mg/100g) 
      1 Basil (dried) 2,240 mg
      2 Marjoram (dried) 1,990 mg
      3 Sage (ground) 1,652 mg
      4
      Good Green Stuff
      1,650 mg
      5
      Spearmint (dried)
      1,488 mg
      6
      Poppy Seeds
      1,438mg
      7 Rosemary (dried) 1,280 mg
      8 Cinnamon 1,002 mg
      9 Sesame Seeds (unhulled) 975 mg
      10 Kids Good Stuff 933 mg
      11 Chives 813 mg
      12 Maca Powder 740 mg
      Edam Cheese - if we were to include it, it would come in here
      731 mg
      13 Cloves 632 mg
      14 Chia Seeds 631 mg
      15 Mesquite Powder 520 mg
      16 Sacha Inchi Powder 493 mg
      17 Spirulina 460 mg
      18 Black Pepper 443 mg
      19 Tahini (unhulled) 426 mg
      20 Black Tahini (unhulled) 406 mg
      21 Thyme  405 mg
      22 Carob Powder 348 mg
      23 Almond Butter 347 mg
      24 Chilli Powder 330 mg
      25 Soybeans 277 mg
      26 Almonds (natural) 269 mg
      27 Flaxseed 255 mg
      28 Peppermint 243 mg
      29 Collard Greens 232 mg
      30 Amaranth 215 mg
      31 Molasses 205 mg
      32 Goji Berry  190 mg
      33 Tofu (TONZU) 170 mg
      34 Kelp 168 mg
      35 Rocket 160 mg
      36 Black-eyed Beans 160 mg
      37 Brazil Nuts 160 mg
      38 Cacao 160 mg
      39 Kale 150 mg
      40 Wakame 150 mg
      41 Tahini (hulled) 141 mg
      42 Sesame Seed (hulled) 131 mg
      43 Wasabi 128 mg
      44 Soymilk (Vitasoy Original) 120 mg
      45 Coconut Milk (Vitasoy) 120 mg
      46 Almond Milk (Vitasoy) 120 mg
      Standard blue milk (3.3% fat) - if we were to include it, it would come in here
      119 mg
      47 Hazelnuts  114 mg
      48 Pinto Beans  113 mg
      49 Tempeh (TONZU) 111 mg
      50
      Chickpeas
      105 mg
      51
      Bok Choy
      105 mg
      52 Pistachios 105 mg
      53 Walnuts 98 mg
      54 Peanuts 92 mg
      55
      Lucuma 
      92 mg
      56 Rhubarb 86 mg
      57 Pecans  70 mg 
      58 Hemp Seeds 70 mg
      59 Kumquats 62 mg
      60 Edamame 60 mg
      61 Leeks 59 mg
      62 Mustard 58 mg
      63 Acai Bowl Premix 57 mg
      64 Miso 57 mg
      65 Lentils 56 mg
      66 Endive 52 mg
      67 Raisins 50 mg
      68 Fennel 49 mg
      69 Broccoli 47 mg
      70 Artichoke 44 mg
      71 Oranges 43 mg
      72 Swede 43 mg
      73 Cabbage 40 mg
      74 Barley 33 mg
      75 Sauerkraut 30 mg 


      Note: Some foods listed are great sources of calcium (e.g spices, superfood powders), but are difficult to eat in large quantities. These should therefore be included in addition to the more substantial foods.

      A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.

      So that's it - why you need it, how much you need, what can inhibit and enhance absorption, and where to find it. I hope you find this a useful resource, and encourage you to bookmark it to come back again. Forward it to a friend too who's worried about their calcium intake!

      What are your favourite calcium containing foods from the list above? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or over on my Facebook or Instagram. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below also.

      Off to cook that dinner for me - til next week, stay happy and well.

      PS If you like this list, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or recreate it on Instagram - I love seeing what you're up to. If you're not already subscribed to my weekly recipe emails, be sure to do that here, and don't miss my next video by subscribing to my YouTube channel here.

       A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based.



      Buffy Ellen
      Buffy Ellen

      Author

      Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes. Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.




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