50 Best Vegan Sources of Calcium [Food List + Chart]

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Refresher/Summary:

  • Calcium is one of the hardest vitamins to get on a vegan diet.
  • Adults should try and get at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
  • The best plant based sources of calcium are seeds and dark leafy greens.

If you have a serious calcium deficiency, it can lead to weaker bones and diseases like osteoporosis (1).

Due to advertising growing up, we think of animal products like dairy as amazing sources of calcium.

In reality, dairy is an okay source of calcium but nothing special. And while some effort is needed, most vegans can get enough calcium in their diet from food sources.

If you’re having trouble getting enough, you can also use a vegan calcium supplement. Here’s a guide to the best vegan calcium supplements.

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

For adults, either men or women, the recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg (2).

calcium rda chartCalcium is one of the most important minerals in the diet.

Getting too much or too little can lead to kidney stones in vegans or non-vegans alike.

Vegan Foods Highest in Calcium Per Gram and Calorie

Getting right into it, I’ve compiled a huge list of vegan foods, and created a table below of the foods in terms of their calcium content.

The data comes from the USDA Food Composition Database.

I’ve avoided processed and fortified foods, focusing just on whole plant-based foods, but you likely get some extra in your non-dairy milk, cereal, or bread as well. Tofu also has a lot since it’s usually packaged with a calcium solution.

FoodCalcium (mg) per 100 gramsCalcium (mg) per 100 calories
Sesame seeds975170
Chia seeds630129
Almonds26946
Flaxseed25748
Kale255713
Collard greens232788
Turnip greens189578
Garlic167125
Arugula160640
Brazil nut15924
Soybeans145103
Vital wheat gluten14238
Cowpeas128132
Watercress1201000
Mustard greens114427
Seaweed (dried)11440
Hazelnut11418
Rapini108490
Bok choy106822
Pistachio nuts10619
Spinach99432
Walnut9715
Peanuts9216
Olive8874
Macadamia nut8512
Okra82252
Sunflower seeds7913
Water spinach77391
Pecans7110
Hemp seeds7013
Navy beans6949
Date6423
Leek6098
Pumpkin seeds5512
Oats5414
Swiss chard51269
Chickpeas4930
Broccoli47139
Amaranth4746
Cashew458
Lotus root4561
Artichoke4493
Orange4394
Chicory root4258
Celery41289
Cabbage40164
Tangerine3769
Green bean36118
Parsnip3648
Brussels sprouts36100
Fava bean3633
Fig3547
Carrot3380
Lettuce (red leaf)33255
Wheat flour (whole-grain)3310
Lime33110
Lima beans3226
Sweet potato3035
Chestnut2912
Napa cabbage29246
Blackberry2968
Kidney beans2822
Adzuki beans2822
Mung bean2726
Black beans2720
Raspberry2650
Lemon2688
Peas2531
Rye grain247
Jackfruit2425
Asparagus23108
Onion2357
Cauliflower2289
Radish22133
Gourd20100
Lentils1917
Guava1827
Buckwheat groats175
Quinoa1714
Pine nuts162
Cassava1610
Zucchini1695
Beets1636
Cucumber16104
Strawberry1650
Squash1592
Coconut meat144
Avocado138
Pineapple1326
Cherry1321
Apricot1327
Grapefruit1232
Bamboo shoot12100
Mango1118
Barley119
Grapes1015
Rice108
Tomato1055
Green bell pepper1048
Pear916
White potato913
Eggplant936
Cantaloupe926
Farro910
Cranberry817
Red bell pepper726
Plum613
Melon617
Peach616
Durian64
Apple611
Nectarine613
Banana56
Mushrooms414
Lychee46
Pummelo410
Plantain32
Corn22
Ginger00

The “per 100 grams” column is the most practical, while the “per 100 calories” column can be useful if you’re trying to lose weight and are watching your calorie intake.

The Most Efficient Plant Sources of Calcium

Here’s one more way to look at the data in the table above.

I’ve graphed the amount of calcium per 100 calories against the amount per 100 grams of the very best sources.

The most efficient sources are those foods somewhere in the middle of both axis, towards the top right corner.

calcium bubble chart vegan

Only seeds and greens really make the cut here (nuts and other foods are clustered around the bottom left hand grid).

No source is particularly efficient overall, so you’ll likely want to go for a mix of seeds and leafy greens to get most of the calcium in your diet.

Types of Vegan Foods That Are High in Calcium

seeds variety

There are certain types of plant foods that dominate the top of the list:

  • Seeds – Almost every type of seed that is commonly eaten (sesame, chia, flax, etc.) is in the top 30 vegan calcium sources. It”s easy to add these to salads and other meals to get a large portion of your daily calcium.
  • Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium – Spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, and kale all have a significant amount per serving, with very few calories.
  • Nuts are an okay source of calcium – They mostly round out the list and have some calcium, but also a lot of calories. Almonds are the best nut in terms of calcium.

Oxalate and Calcium Absorption

Leafy greens are a good source of calcium, but they also have a lot of oxalate – an “antinutrient”.

Oxalate isn’t a terrible thing, but it does reduce the absorption of calcium (3). Additionally, people who are prone to kidney stones may need to watch their oxalate intake.

Note that this hindered absorption is already factored into RDAs, so you likely don’t need to stress about it.

If you’re concerned about this, cook your vegetables, which reduces oxalate content from 30 to 90% (4). Boiling in particular is the most effective, although you lose some other nutrients from the food as well.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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