Of all the minerals in the body, calcium is the most abundant. While calcium plays a crucial role in building and strengthening bones in our younger years, it’s also just as important for muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, and maintaining our strong bones in adulthood (1).
If we’re not getting enough calcium from our diet, our bodies will compensate for this by taking the calcium from our bones, which over time can lead to osteoporosis or thinning of bones (2). The Ministry of Health recommends adults have between 1000-1300mg of calcium per day. Women need a little more, and everyone requires more as they get older (3).
What are some plant-based sources of calcium? (4)
You’ve likely heard dairy foods are the best source of calcium, however there are plenty of plant-based foods rich in calcium, too! Below you’ll find a breakdown of some of the best plant-based sources of calcium to help you achieve your daily requirements.
Plant-based Foods Rich in Calcium
|Fortified plant milk (1 cup)||300-500mg|
|Firm tofu (1/2 cup)||400-450mg|
|Turnips (1 cup)||200mg|
|Chia seeds (2 Tbsp)||177mg|
|Kidney beans (1/2 cup)||132mg|
|Kale (1 cup, cooked)||94mg|
|Bok choy (1 cup, cooked)||74mg|
|Broccoli (1 cup, cooked)||62mg|
|Edamame beans (1 cup, cooked)||50mg|
Maximising your intake and absorption (3)
- Get some sun, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Vitamin D helps calcium to be absorbed into bones.
- Eat a variety of calcium-rich foods including green leafy vegetables, firm tofu and calcium fortified dairy alternatives such as calcium-fortified soy milk.
- Include other plant sources of calcium regularly in the diet such as almonds, brazil nuts and dried figs.
Meet the Expert
Armand is one of our Customer Love Coordinators, helping our Foodies with all their inquiries over the past three years. He’s recently completed a Masters in Clinical Dietetics, and has since been helping our Fresh Start Experts answer your nutrition related questions. In his spare time, Armand has a passion for making videos and you’ll find him honing his video-making skills whenever he can.