Best Vegan & Non Dairy Sources For Calcium Rich Foods

The plant-based lifestyle is a superb way of packing your diet with healthy nutrients, vitamins, proteins and carbs that keep you feeling great.

We’ve shown you these five awesome sources of vegan protein, but did you know that calcium is also super important for our health>

We’re used to hearing about the importance of calcium for children because it helps with growth, but by the time we’re adults, a lot of us forget about the importance of calcium.

Most people know that calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, but did you know that it’s one of the minerals our body needs for muscle movement, nerve function and blood clotting?

Calcium is definitely the unsung hero of a healthy lifestyle!

However, lots of people don’t meet their daily calcium requirements, including those on a vegan diet.

The body doesn’t produce calcium itself, so it’s really important to know about the best calcium-rich foods so that you can stay healthy and happy!

In fact, plant-based calcium has a lower absorption rate than dairy calcium, so it’s a good idea to know your stuff about calcium for vegans when following a vegan diet, or if you’re looking to go vegan for the first time.

Dairy products get all the credit when it comes to providing us with all-important calcium, but there are loads of awesome plant-based calcium options for vegans.

In this quick guide to dairy-free calcium that is perfect for vegans (or the lactose intolerant!), we’re going to walk you through the best calcium rich foods, drinks and meals that happen to be plant-based!

So if you want to find out how vegans can get calcium, keep reading!

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Daily Calcium Requirements

The amount of calcium we need changes depending on our age, so here’s a quick guide to how much calcium you should be aiming to consume daily!

  • 1-3 Years – 350 milligrams (mg)
  • 4-6 Years – 450 mg
  • 7-10 Years – 550mg
  • 11-18 Years (Girls) – 800 mg
  • 11-18 Years (Boys) – 1000 mg 
  • 19 Years or Older – 700 mg

It’s great to know how many milligrams of calcium we need each day, but how exactly do we know how much dairy free calcium is in each piece of food?

Here’s one way to tell:

Packaged products like almond milk are likely to list the amount of calcium per serving on the nutrition label. This is a super easy way to tell how much calcium is in this kind of food.

Take a look at this nutrition label for almond milk:

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Source: Amazon

However, lots of other foods don’t list the amount of calcium they contain on their nutrition labels. 

Take tofu, broccoli and lentils, just to name a few!

But don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of everything you need to know when it comes to finding out how vegans can get calcium. Even without a handy nutrition label, you’ll know exactly where to get that all-important dairy free calcium. 

The Best Calcium Rich Foods For Vegans

Fruits

It’s true that fruit isn’t commonly thought of as a calcium-rich food.

But did you know that there are plenty of healthy fruits that are an awesome source of calcium for vegans?

Here is a list of some sweet and fruity sources of dairy free calcium that you’re probably already eating with your breakfast or as a snack every day! (Easier to incorporate into your vegan diet than you realised, right?)

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Tangerines

Not to be confused with clementines or oranges, tangerines are one of the highest sources of calcium for vegans to be found in fresh fruits! They contain a healthy 37mg of calcium per 100g.

On top of that, they are sold at all major supermarkets, all year round – so it’s a really effective and easy way to get some dairy free calcium into your diet.

Aside from packing a whole bunch of plant-based calcium, they also keep your skin looking young and hair colour vibrant! 

Tangerines are basically the total package when it comes to finding the best calcium rich foods and meeting your body’s daily mineral needs.

Kiwis

This tropical green fruit contains 34mg of calcium per 100g so it’s certainly one of the best calcium rich foods for vegans out there. 

Not only does it contain a whopping amount of calcium but it’s also packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre. 

Talk about a total superfood! 

Kiwi is an awesome addition to a fruit salad or a fantastic cereal topper to get your fix of dairy free calcium in the morning.

Blackberries

  • Blackberries are totally easy to find in any supermarket and are a fab source of dairy free calcium! 

    They contain 29mg of calcium per 100g and are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and are relatively low in sugar compared to other fruits.

    In fact, blackberries have even been linked to improved cognitive skills! So adding some of these beneficial berries into your next smoothie or on top of your porridge is a totally smart way for vegans to get calcium into their diets.

Vegetables

Vegetables

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Another healthy way that vegans can get calcium into their diets is through vegetables.

Like calcium-rich fruits, lots of vegetables are full of dairy free calcium and a whole bunch of other vitamins and minerals that will keep you feeling nourished and energetic.

Vegetables are one of the best calcium rich foods for plant-based people and it’s effortless to incorporate them into any meal of the day!

Spinach

Turns out there is a reason that Popeye got so strong from eating spinach! It’s all that calcium! 

Leafy greens are one of the best calcium rich foods out there and spinach is one of the most popular kinds of leafy greens.

Spinach contains a staggering 136mg of calcium per 100g. It also aids weight loss, reduces stress and blood pressure levels.

It can be enjoyed cooked or raw, so why not replace your typical lettuce leaves for some nutritional spinach in your next salad?

Kale

With 132mg of calcium per 100g, it’s no wonder that kale has been all the rage in the last few years. 

In fact, it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, despite being very low calorie. It contains high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. 

It will even help to lower your cholesterol and risk of heart disease, so it’s clear that kale is super healthy.

Whether you choose to blend it up in a refreshing green smoothie or let it wilt into a sumptuous tomato sauce, kale is easily one of the best calcium rich foods in the world.

Butternut Squash

Did you know that butternut squash is technically a fruit!? (Shocking!)

Nevertheless, squash is popular among those on a vegan diet for how hearty and soothing it tastes.

Squash contains around 41mg of calcium per 100g

It’s also high in potassium and manganese, which helps your body to process carbohydrates.

This versatile source of calcium for vegans can be roasted, curried or made into a healthy soup for a creamy and mellow addition to any dish going.

Tofu

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Tofu is a vegan classic

Made from the humble soya bean, it’s low in fat, high in protein and makes awesome curries, cheesecakes and burgers.

But did you know that tofu is one of the best sources of calcium for vegans out there?

It contains an astounding 176mg of calcium per 100g!

Tofu also contains loads of protein, iron and absolutely no cholesterol!

It’s even thought to lower the risk of heart disease.

There are lots of different types of tofu, from firm to medium firm or extra firm. If you’re making a recipe with tofu, the recipe usually specifies which kind of tofu is best. 

If you’re free-styling, then it’s good to know that the more firm the texture, the higher the protein, calories and fat. 

Remember, this doesn’t make firm tofu unhealthy! 

The fat found in tofu is largely unsaturated fat that is good for the heart.

If you’re really looking to increase your dairy-free calcium intake, you can even get your hands on some calcium-set tofu, in which manufacturers add extra calcium to their tofu.

Beans and Pulses

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Soybeans

Given that tofu is one of the best calcium rich foods for vegans, it’s no wonder that soybeans are one of the best sources of dairy free calcium when it comes to beans and pulses. 

You might know these beans as edamame beans, an awesome healthy Japanese snack. You can buy them frozen and fresh in lots of UK supermarkets.

With around 66mg of calcium per 80g, these beans are a great addition to any salad or falafel mix. You can also roast them and transform them into a crispy snack.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a delightful pulse that makes hummus, falafel and different types of curries.

Where would we be in a world without hummus! (There would be a lot of lonely carrot sticks for sure).

It’s undeniable that chickpeas are an absolute vegan essential, but did you know that they contain 38mg of calcium per 80g portion

There are so many incredible chickpea-based vegan recipes; you probably won’t have much trouble making sure that you eat enough chickpeas to get some dairy-free calcium into your diet.

Kidney Beans

With 30mg of calcium per 80g serving, kidney beans are another versatile pulse that provides a great source of calcium for vegans. 

This source of dairy free calcium is also rich in protein and fibre!

It’s best to buy them canned because they are already cooked and are totally easy to prepare. 

While kidney beans are commonly enjoyed in Mexican-inspired chilli recipes, they can also be made into a fragrant curry or mashed into a spicy vegan bean burger!

Nuts and Grains

Nuts And Grains

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Chia Seeds

One tablespoon of chia seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk.

Yup, you read that right! That’s an almost unbelievable 631mg of calcium per 100g

So if you’re really looking to up your calcium intake, chia seeds are the way to go.

They are also often grown organically, and they’re naturally gluten-free and whole grain so pretty much anyone can enjoy these calcium-rich wonders.

You can eat chia seeds in a pretty unique way as chia pudding. This involves soaking chia seeds in dairy-free milk and sweetener overnight. They turn into this wonderful and healthy jelly that can be enjoyed topped with your favourite fruits and granolas just like porridge! 

This is a great option if you’re looking for a low-carb breakfast alternative!

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds may be small, but they punch well above their weight when it comes to providing dairy-free calcium for vegans. 

In fact, just one tablespoon of poppyseeds (9 grams) contains 126mg of calcium

They are also really high in manganese which aids bone health as well as helping your body process proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Who would have thought this humble seed would be one of the best calcium rich foods on the planet?

Almonds

Of all of the nuts out there, almonds take the top prize for being the richest in calcium! 

100g of raw almond contains an impressive 264mg of calcium. Almonds are also high in vitamin E which is an antioxidant to put it in simple terms, antioxidants keep potentially harmful molecule species in your body in check! This reduces the risk of diseases like diabetes and cancer. 

It’s a good thing that almonds are one of the best calcium rich foods for vegans because they’re the second most popular nuts in the world!

Whether it’s plain, in a nut roast or some silky almond butter – there are a tonne of ways to pack more almonds into your diet. Go nuts!

Vegan Calcium Rich Meals at Plant Sumo

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It’s all well and good knowing how vegans can get calcium in different foods, but how can we incorporate some of these sources of dairy free calcium into our daily meals?

Let’s face it, making some calcium-rich meals like falafel requires lots of ingredients, effort and difficult cooking techniques like deep frying. 

If you don’t feel like spending ages cooking a calcium-rich plant-based meal, Plant Sumo can do all the work for you! Plant Sumo meals are nutritious, delicious and deliverable all around London.

If you’re really making an effort to increase your calcium intake, Plant Sumo meal combinations are totally customisable.

This way, you can make sure that you are getting our most calcium-rich dishes delivered straight to your door.

At Plant Sumo, there is no such thing as a boring vegan diet!

Here are our top three mouth-watering calcium rich meals:

Vegan Marinara V Balls

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Imagine this, you’re feeling tired, it’s a cold and drizzly day…it’s time for a comforting and sturdy bowl of vegan pasta!

There’s nothing quite like the soothing tastes of Italy to make everything better, and Plant Sumo’s own Mariana V Balls are just the thing for a comforting night in. 

These epic meatless ‘meatballs’ are made from calcium rich tofu, cannellini beans, seitan and mushrooms. This makes for a savoury, textured ‘meatball’ that is perfectly paired with a mild arrabbiata sauce and healthy wholemeal pasta.

This scrumptious gluten-free dish is an easy and delicious way to get some dairy free calcium into your life!

Vegan Sumo Squash Stew

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Did butternut squash catch your eye as one of the best vegetables containing calcium for vegans?

Why not indulge yourself with this satisfying, yet healthy Sumo Squash Stew?

This hearty 5-star rated meal contains a nutritious mix of roasted kabocha squash, brown lentil stew, skin-on sweet potato and caramelised red onions with an accompaniment of fluffy white rice. 

These savoury, yet delicate and soothing flavours marry together perfectly to create an aromatic and pleasing food experience. 

It’s all of the indulgence, with none of the guilt!

This dairy free calcium packed squash stew is guaranteed to bring some cosy autumnal vibes to any mealtime.

Vegan Nuts On Tempeh

Imagine this, you’re feeling tired, it’s a cold and drizzly day…it’s time for a comforting and sturdy bowl of vegan pasta!

There’s nothing quite like the soothing tastes of Italy to make everything better, and Plant Sumo’s own Mariana V Balls are just the thing for a comforting night in. 

These epic meatless ‘meatballs’ are made from calcium rich tofu, cannellini beans, seitan and mushrooms. This makes for a savoury, textured ‘meatball’ that is perfectly paired with a mild arrabbiata sauce and healthy wholemeal pasta.

This scrumptious gluten-free dish is an easy and delicious way to get some dairy free calcium into your life!

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Source: Plant Sumo

This vegan take on one of the most popular South-East Asian dishes, satay, is everything you need to get some delicious sweet and salty balance in your life.

The Nuts On Tempeh contains an incredible variety of flavours and textures from calcium rich shredded kale, tempeh (tofu’s calcium rich cousin) as well as sweet pineapple, coconut and a fragrant peanut satay sauce.

It’s creamy, filling and delicious. 

If you’ve never tried peanut satay sauce, this dish will totally transform your idea of peanuts!

This dish is great for gluten free Asian food lovers, because it contains no soy sauce and the noodles are gluten-free!

Go ahead and order this delicious protein and calcium rich meal for your next dinner.

You will nut regret it – I promise!

Vegan Calcium Rich Drinks

Does Almond Milk Have Calcium?

Almond Milk

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Almond milk is one of the most popular non-dairy milks around, so it’s pretty likely that you’re familiar with this smooth, nutty and delicate tasting milk. 

Compared with cow’s milk – it’s way lower in calories, lower in fat and contains vitamins E and D, (vegan win!)

But does almond milk have calcium?

In short – yes!

In fact, both cow’s milk and fortified almond milk contain around the same amount of calcium per 100ml, which is 120mg.

In fact, most of the major almond milk brands like Blue Diamond and Alpro fortify their almond milk with calcium to make sure that anyone following a vegan diet is on track to achieve their daily calcium requirements.

Remember organic almond milk isn’t fortified with calcium!

Almond milk is super versatile, it can be enjoyed as a drink, with your cereal, in pancakes, waffles and loads of other recipes! 

You can even find some almond milk based vegan ice cream! (I’m talking Ben & Jerry’s!)

It’s probably almond milk’s strong similarity to cow’s milk that makes it such a popular option for people following a vegan diet. 

Almond milk can be made at home, but it’s a really expensive and time-consuming process, so the best way to get this fabulous source of dairy free calcium is at the supermarket (it’s actually cheaper this way!)

Does Soy Milk Have Calcium?

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For everyone wondering – soy and soya are pretty much the same things!

Whatever you call this milk, calcium fortified soy milk is a healthy source of dairy free calcium for vegans. 

Like almond milk, most major soy milks are fortified with calcium and contain around 120mg of calcium per 100ml. So when looking to meet your daily calcium needs – fortified soy milk is a great option.

It’s thick texture makes it a great vegan replacement for any recipes that need whole cow’s milk.

It’s also great for steaming in lattes and cappuccinos!

Make sure to check that your soy milk is fortified with calcium before you buy, as unfortified soy milk doesn’t contain much calcium per serving. 

You can usually tell whether vegan milk is fortified with calcium with a quick glance at the nutrition label.

If it lists a high amount of calcium, it’s probably fortified. Organic soy milk is not fortified with calcium.

Soy milk is thick and delicious and affordable. It’s one of my personal favourite dairy free milks of all time.

If I do soy so myself…

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That’s all folks!

Now you know exactly how vegans can get calcium into their diet and make sure that they are getting those all-important health benefits!

Your bones and muscles will be feeling the effects in no time!

If you were looking to go vegan, but were concerned about your calcium intake, it turns out that it’s a total myth that consuming dairy products is the only way to get calcium into your diet.

In fact, all of these foods have loads of other vitamins and minerals that have major health benefits, so you really can’t go wrong by incorporating these fabulous calcium rich foods and drinks into your diet.

Who knew that some of the best calcium rich foods were dairy free!? 

I’m positive that our tasty and calcium rich meals at Plant Sumo caught your eye (just writing about them gets my stomach rumbling!)

Did you know that you can enjoy any combination of Plant Sumo meals either as a one-off meal delivery or a regular subscription?

With over ten different meal options, including the ones listed above, there are different dishes to suit everyone. You can sign up right here.

About the Author

Amy

Amy Swain is a content writer for Plant Sumo, foodie and ex-chef. If she’s not baking then she’s got a paintbrush in hand, working on her next masterpiece.