The NHS recommends 700mg of calcium a day for adults aged 19 to 64. You can get all the calcium you need from plants by getting your intake from a variety of great plant sources including:
✔️ Green leafy vegetables – 50-150 mg / 100g*
A great vegetable group given they are rich in both calcium and Vitamin D. For example you can find 150 mg of calcium in 100g* of cooked kale, 150 mg in 100g* of watercress, 50mg in 100g* of steamed broccoli or cabbage
✔️ Fortified unsweetened soya, rice or oat drinks – 120 mg / 100ml*
A 200ml glass of Oatly Original Oat Drink for example has 240 mg of calcium, as well as 50% of the RDI of Vitamin B12
✔️ Calcium-set Tofu (firm, soft or silken) – 160-400 mg / 100g*
Many brands use calcium sulfate as a coagulant to make tofu (sometimes also referred as "calcium-set" tofu) such as Cauldron Vegan Tofu Block which contains 405mg of calcium in 100g. While the NHS recommends calcium-set tofu as a great plant source, check the label of your tofu brand follow the more traditional Japanese recipe that uses Nigari as a coagulant (a byproduct from the salt extraction of sea water)
✔️ Sesame seeds – 100 mg / 1 tablespoon
✔️ Tahini – ca 100 mg / 1 teaspoon
Sesame seeds can be sprinkled in so many dishes and tahini is also a versatile ingredient. Use it to make dips such as houmous or baba ganoush, or in your salad dressings. Simply mix tahini with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, a splash of water and a pinch salt of salt in a bowl, then toss roasted vegetables and salads in it.
✔️ Bread (and anything made with fortified flour) - 100mg / serving*
In the UK, calcium is added to white and brown flour by law. You can get 100mg of calcium in one thick slice of brown or white bread, and in one white pitta bread (boost your calcium two fold by combining with hummous)
✔️ Dried figs – 75 mg / 30g, and Dried apricots – ca 50 mg / 30g*
The NHS recommends eating them at mealtimes, not as a snack between meals, to reduce the impact of sugar on teeth. A 30g portion of dried fruit also counts as 1 of your 5 A Day.
✔️ Almonds – ca 72 mg / 30g*
Almonds, consumed raw, are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, Vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids which benefits your brain health
✔️ Chickpeas – ca 100 mg / 100g*
Found in hummus (hello again), falafel and our own Planty Harissa Carrot tagine, chickpeas are also a great source of iron. Mix them in salads, soups and stews
✔️ Red Kidney Beans (canned) – ca 70 mg / 100g*
The NHS recommends pulses as great calcium sources. Red kidney beans are packed with calcium and other important health-promoting nutrients, essential amino acids, vitamin B9, fiber, potassium and magnesium
- the body needs Vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium in the body
- Good sources of Vitamin D include exposure to sunlight (from April to September in the UK), Vitamin-D fortified food (such as spreads and unsweetened soya drinks) and Vitamin D supplements (highly recommended by the NHS during UK winters).
Sources: NHS, Vegan Society.