Top 75 Sources of Plant-Based Calcium

A list of my top 75 favourite sources of calcium - all dairy free, healthy, and 100% plant-based. And, best of all, so easy to incorporate into your diet, to make sure you're getting the nutrients you need!
Homemade ALMOND, COCONUT AND SESAME MILK - plant based, dairy free, refined sugar free, high calcium, lactose free, 10 minutes, easy, begoodorganics 10 wp.jpg
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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!

GARDEN GREEN HUMMUS - made with basil, spinach, butter beans and spirulina! Healthy, plant-based, vegan, dairy free, gluten free

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.

SUNFLOWER COCONUT MILK - healthy, plant-based, raw, vegan, dairy free, refined sugar free, low sugar, high protein, nut free base, recipe, begoodorganics 02 wo

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.

KALE, KARENGO & CUCUMBER SALAD with a delicious japanese inspired sesame seed dressing - vegan, plant-based, dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, nut free, healthy, seaweed, lunch, dinner, easy, under 20 minutes, begoodorganics

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.

Easy 4 ingredient TAMARI, KARENGO AND SESAME ALMONDS - the perfect cupboard stocker to have on hand for salads - vegan, plant based, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, salad topper, begoodorganics

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.

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

RankingFoodCalcium (mg/100g) 
1Basil (dried)2,240 mg
2Marjoram (dried)1,990 mg
3Sage (ground)1,652 mg
4Good Green Stuff1,650 mg
5Spearmint (dried)1,488 mg
6Poppy Seeds1,438mg
7Rosemary (dried)1,280 mg
8Cinnamon1,002 mg
9Sesame Seeds (unhulled)975 mg
10Kids Good Stuff933 mg
11Chives813 mg
12Maca Powder740 mg
Edam Cheese – if we were to include it, it would come in here731 mg
13Cloves632 mg
14Chia Seeds631 mg
15Mesquite Powder520 mg
16Sacha Inchi Powder493 mg
17Spirulina460 mg
18Black Pepper443 mg
19Tahini (unhulled)426 mg
20Black Tahini (unhulled)406 mg
21Thyme405 mg
22Carob Powder348 mg
23Almond Butter347 mg
24Chilli Powder330 mg
25Soybeans277 mg
26Almonds (natural)269 mg
27Flaxseed255 mg
28Peppermint243 mg
29Collard Greens232 mg
30Amaranth215 mg
31Molasses205 mg
32Goji Berry 190 mg
33Tofu (TONZU)170 mg
34Kelp168 mg
35Rocket160 mg
36Black-eyed Beans160 mg
37Brazil Nuts160 mg
38Cacao160 mg
39Kale150 mg
40Wakame150 mg
41Tahini (hulled)141 mg
42Sesame Seed (hulled)131 mg
43Wasabi128 mg
44Soymilk (Vitasoy Original)120 mg
45Coconut Milk (Vitasoy)120 mg
46Almond Milk (Vitasoy)120 mg
Standard blue milk (3.3% fat) – if we were to include it, it would come in here119 mg
47Hazelnuts114 mg
48Pinto Beans113 mg
49Tempeh (TONZU)111 mg
50Chickpeas105 mg
51Bok Choy105 mg
52Pistachios105 mg
53Walnuts98 mg
54Peanuts92 mg
55Lucuma92 mg
56Rhubarb86 mg
57Pecans70 mg
58Hemp Seeds70 mg
59Kumquats62 mg
60Edamame60 mg
61Leeks59 mg
62Mustard58 mg
63Acai Bowl Premix57 mg
64Miso57 mg
65Lentils56 mg
66Endive52 mg
67Raisins50 mg
68Fennel49 mg
69Broccoli47 mg
70Artichoke44 mg
71Oranges43 mg
72Swede43 mg
73Cabbage40 mg
74Barley33 mg
75Sauerkraut30 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.

GARDEN GREEN HUMMUS - made with basil, spinach, butter beans and spirulina! Healthy, plant-based, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, nut free, packed with greens, no sugar, biobalance 1 wp.jpg

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.

Homemade ALMOND, COCONUT AND SESAME MILK - plant based, dairy free, refined sugar free, high calcium, lactose free, 10 minutes, easy, begoodorganics 10 wp.jpg