How to get Calcium on a Vegan Diet.
Updated: Mar 5
Calcium plays crucial roles in your body.
It’s well known for its ability to build and maintain your bones. Yet, this mineral is also important for muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.
The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) is 1,000 mg per day for adults. This shoots up to 1,200 mg for those over 50, and to 1,300 for children ages 4–18.
Here are the top 10 vegan foods high in calcium:
1. Soy Foods
Soybeans are naturally rich in calcium. One cup (175 grams) of cooked soybeans provides 18.5% of the RDI, whereas the same quantity of immature soybeans — known as edamame — offers around 27.6%.
Foods made from soybeans, such as tofu, tempeh, and natto, are also rich in this mineral. Tofu made with calcium phosphate contains 350 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Tempeh and natto — made from fermented soybeans — provide good amounts as well. One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of tempeh covers around 11% of the RDI, whereas natto offers about twice that amount.
Minimally processed soy foods are also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, they’re one of the rare plant foods considered a complete source of protein.
That’s because — while most plant foods are low in at least one of the nine essential amino acids — soybeans offer good amounts of all of them.
2. Beans, Peas, and Lentils
In addition to being rich in fiber and protein, beans and lentils are good sources of calcium. The varieties providing the highest levels of this mineral per cooked cup (about 175 grams) include:
winged (goa) beans: 26% of the RDI
white beans: 13% of the RDI
navy beans: 13% of the RDI
black beans: 11% of the RDI
chickpeas: 9% of the RDI
kidney beans: 7% of the RDI
lentils: 4% of the RDI