A List of the 30 Best Vegan Sources of Calcium

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Calcium is the first thing we think of when we think of strong bones.

Due to advertising growing up, we also think of dairy as an amazing source of calcium.

In reality, it’s an okay source, but vegans should have no problem getting enough calcium in their diet without dairy.

How much calcium do you need a day? For adults, either men or women, the recommended daily intake of calcium is 800 to 1,000 mg.

The 30 Best Vegan Sources of Calcium by Amount Per Serving

Getting right into it, I’ve compiled a huge list of vegan foods, and created a table below of the top 30 foods in terms of calcium.

I’ve avoided fortified foods, focusing just on whole plant-based foods, but you likely get some extra in your almond milk, cereal, or bread as well.

The data comes from the USDA Food Composition Database.

This table is in terms of calcium per serving, which I think is the most realistic and useful way of looking at foods.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Calcium (mg)
Sesame seeds 0.5 cup 413 702
Spinach 1 bunch 78 337
Soybeans 1 cup 254 261
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 245
Cowpeas 1 cup 160 211
Collard greens 2.5 cup 25 197
Chia seeds 3 tbsp 146 189
Almonds 1/2 cup 313 145
Vital wheat gluten 100 g 370 142
Navy beans 1 cup 255 126
Amaranth 1 cup 251 116
Fig 5 large 237 112
Kale 2 cup 15 107
Brazil nut 0.5 cup 438 106
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 104
Rapini 5 stalks 21 103
Oats 1 cup 607 84
Chickpeas 1 cup 269 80
Okra 8 pods 31 78
Date 5 dates 332 77
Hazelnut 0.5 cup 424 77
Bok choy 1 cup 9 74
Artichoke 1 large 76 71
Peanuts 0.5 cup 414 67
Orange 1 orange 69 65
Pistachio nuts 0.5 cup 344 65
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 64
Mustard greens 1 cup 15 64
Fava bean 1 cup 187 61
Macadamia nut 0.5 cup 481 57

A couple of highlights:

  • Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium – Spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, and kale all have a significant amount per serving.
  • Seeds are a great source of calcium – Adding some sesame seeds (or having hummus) or chia seeds is a great way to get a large portion of your daily calcium intake.
  • 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.

The 30 Best Vegan Sources of Calcium by Amount Per 100 Calories

Another good way to look at calcium content of foods is to look at how much calcium a food has per 100 calories. This is important if you’re trying to lose weight.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Calcium (mg) Calcium per 100 calories (mg)
Watercress 10 sprigs 3 30 1000
Bok choy 1 cup 9 74 822.2222222
Collard greens 2.5 cup 25 197 788
Kale 2 cup 15 107 713.3333333
Arugula 1 cup 5 32 640
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 104 577.7777778
Rapini 5 stalks 21 103 490.4761905
Spinach 1 bunch 78 337 432.0512821
Mustard greens 1 cup 15 64 426.6666667
Water spinach 1 cup 11 43 390.9090909
Celery 1 stalk 9 26 288.8888889
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 245 269.2307692
Lettuce (red leaf) 0.5 head 20 51 255
Okra 8 pods 31 78 251.6129032
Napa cabbage 1 cup 13 32 246.1538462
Sesame seeds 0.5 cup 413 702 169.9757869
Cabbage 1 cup 22 36 163.6363636
Broccoli 1 cup 31 43 138.7096774
Radish 2 large 3 4 133.3333333
Cowpeas 1 cup 160 211 131.875
Chia seeds 3 tbsp 146 189 129.4520548
Garlic 1 clove 4 5 125
Green bean 10 beans 17 20 117.6470588
Lime 1 lime 20 22 110
Asparagus 4 spears 13 14 107.6923077
Cucumber 0.5 cucumber 23 24 104.3478261
Soybeans 1 cup 254 261 102.7559055
Bamboo shoot 1 shoot 17 17 100
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 56 100
Gourd 1 gourd 36 36 100
Leek 1 leek 54 53 98.14814815

The dark leafy greens absolutely dominate this list, they have a lot of calcium and very few calories. The issue is that they have a lot of volume, so it can be hard to eat a lot of them.

Risks of Calcium Deficiency

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

There’s no reason for a vegan to lack calcium in their diet, but if you’re worried, you can also use a vegan calcium supplement. Here’s a guide to the best vegan calcium supplements.

Not all calcium supplements are vegan.

Some are derived from oysters, and others contain vitamin D as well, which may be derived from sheep (lanolin).

Make sure that the supplement that you buy either specifically says that it’s made for vegans (usually in the brand/product name) or “suitable for vegetarians” somewhere on the label.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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