Calcium is one of the essential nutrients for the human body for it to function properly. It is necessary for the health of teeth and bones. Calcium is especially important for children, as it plays a key role in their growth. In addition to this, it is significant for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood pressure regulation, and blood clotting. Hence, it is important for you to acquire enough calcium through your daily diet.
Most people get calcium from dairy products like milk, butter, yogurt, etc. However, these are not an option for people who follow a vegan diet. Hence, vegans have to find alternative sources of calcium for ensuring that they are not suffering from calcium deficiency. The following are some of the important plant-based foods that are rich in calcium. You should definitely include them in your vegan meal for meeting the calcium requirements.
Soybeans are a rich source of calcium. 175 grams of immature soybeans can provide you almost 27.6% of RDI, whereas the same amount of cooked soybeans offers around 18.5%. In addition to this, including foods made from soybeans like tempeh, tofu, and natto can also help you to get adequate amounts of calcium.
Lentils, Beans, And Peas
In addition to providing a good amount of protein and fiber, these plant-based foods are also a great source of calcium. Also, beans and lentils have a lot of other nutrients including zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate. But they contain some antinutrients like lectins and phytates which can reduce the ability of your body to absorb other nutrients. However, soaking, fermenting, and sprouting lentils and beans can reduce the levels of antinutrients, thereby making the nutrients more absorbable.
Most nuts contain small concentrations of calcium, but nuts like almonds and brazil nuts are especially high in calcium. Some other nuts that contain this mineral are walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts.
Seeds and their butter are a great source of calcium. Tahini, which is a butter created from sesame seeds have the most amount of calcium. Seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds also contain enough calcium.
Adding seaweed to your vegan diet can help you to get enough calcium required by your body. Try varieties like wakame and kelp to increase your calcium intake. However, seaweeds can also have high amounts of heavy metals. Hence, it is better to avoid the consumption of seaweeds in higher quantities.
If you are following a vegan diet, it is important for you to make sure that you get enough calcium from your diet for promoting your bone health. The plant-based foods listed above are great sources of calcium. Hence, make sure to include them in your diet for getting enough calcium.