Dairy-Free Foods Rich in Calcium

Posted in Dairy-Free Living July 7, 2014

bok choy vegan calcium

Living a dairy-free lifestyle doesn’t mean getting enough calcium will be a challenge.  While So Delicious Dairy Free provides calcium fortified beverages from coconut and almond milk, we also know that a healthy diet includes a variety of foods.  We wanted to share our favorite sources of dairy-free calcium without supplements.  Some of them may surprise you!

Milk has about 300 mg per serving, and although a cup of milk will have more calcium per volume than any vegetable, plant based foods will have fewer calories and other nutrients.  The national institute of health recommends 1,000 mg of calcium for children age 4-8 and adults 19-50.  Children ages 9-13 should aim for 1,300 mg of calcium every day.

We rounded up our favorite plant based sources of calcium.  You can see a full list of calcium rich plant foods from the USDA here.  Which ones are your favorite?

Oranges have 72mg per serving. They are a great way to add fiber to breakfast or a sack lunch as well.

Dried apricots are slightly tart and have 73 mg of calcium.  Chop them up and add to trail mix or granola.

Green peas are great addition to soups, salads and casseroles.  Peas have 77 mg of calcium.

Okra is a favorite southern vegetable and found frequently in Cajun style cooking, and contains 77 mg of calcium.  Shake up your everyday dinner menu and try this Gumbo recipe from Vegetarian Times.

Broccoli is a classic vegetable and can be great roasted, steamed or stir-fried. Some people even like to snack on it raw, although it is best for digestion to at least blanch broccoli before snacking.  Broccoli has 87 mg of calcium.

Almond butter is a rich nutty addition to sandwiches or used as a spread for celery sticks.

Sunflower seeds are a tasty snack rich in healthy fats.  This brain food fits in perfectly at the ball park and serves up 117 mg of calcium per cup.

Amaranth is an ancient grain, contains 116 mg of calcium per serving, and works great as a side for roasted vegetables.

Currants are easily found dried and pack a whopping 124 mg of calcium per serving.  They work great in a bowl of oatmeal or mixed with cultured coconut milk.

Bok choy is a delicately flavored Chinese vegetable and has 158 mg of calcium.  Best stir fried with ginger and garlic (also on our list).

Collard greens are thick leafy greens that are packed with nutrition.  In addition to 191 mg of calcium, collards are a great source of vitamins A and C.

Black beans are a great way to add calcium, protein and fiber to any meal.  Buy canned for busy weekdays and slow cook dried beans on weekends for almost 200 mg of calcium per serving.

Garlic provides a powerful anti-inflammation boost and is flavorful enough to replace salt in many dishes, and has 246 mg of calcium in a cup. A lot of garlic, yes, but oh-so-good-for-you.

Edamame, the Japanese name for soybeans, have 261 mg per cup and are traditionally served steamed and are a tasty and healthful snack or appetizer.  You can usually buy them frozen at natural food or Asian markets.