As a holistic nutritionist who also happens to enjoy a plant based lifestyle, I’m always more than happy to share with others how to get their calcium from plant based sources. Especially when the person is upset or frantic because they’ve just been diagnosed with a dairy allergy. And furthermore, unfortunately we do not have the best sources of dairy in the US and straying away from dairy products actually seems to help a lot of my clients with issues around digestion, IBS, constipation, allergies, and so much more!
Some of the best places to get calcium are from plants and they are even better absorbed and utilized by the body! What’s not to love!?
1. Sesame Seeds
Raw sesame seeds possess almost 1000 mg of calcium per 100g serving. Tahini butter, a popular sesame seed-based nut butter has 426mg per 100g serving.
2. Chia Seeds
A 3.5 ounce serving can provide about 631mg of calcium. I like to sprinkle them on my salads, mix them into my oatmeal and even add them into my smoothies.
3. Dark Leafy Greens (such as collard greens, kale, turnip greens, arugula, mustard greens and spinach)
Spinach ranks very high in calcium, with 56mg of calcium per cup. A 100g serving of collards packs a 145 mg calcium punch. One cup of steamed bok choy has around 158 mg of the mineral. Kale ranks in with 139mg of calcium and the spicy mustard green has 103mg of calcium per 100g serving. If you aim to have one large leafy green salad a day, you are easily meeting your calcium needs.
4. Flax Seeds
Not only high in calcium (256mg per 100g serving), flax seeds are also rich in omega-3 fats.
One cup of cooked quinoa offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.
Believe it or not, one cup of freshly-squeezed organic orange juice offers approximately 72 mg of calcium. Not to mention plenty of vitamin c, which will significantly improve the amount of calcium your body absorbs.
Many common beans are high in calcium. Winged beans possess 442mg of calcium per 100g serving. Many white beans are very high in calcium having approximately 175mg of calcium per serving. Navy beans are also a great source of calcium, with 127mg per cup.
8. Dried Fruits and Nuts
Many dried fruits are high in calcium. In fact, eating five dried figs per day gives you 135mg of calcium. Almonds are also extremely high in calcium. Raw, or ground into nut butter, almonds hold 266mg of calcium per 100g.
How much calcium do I need?
Adults between the ages of 19 and 50 need 1000 milligrams of calcium per day, with adults aged 51 and over need to increase their calcium intake to 1200 milligrams per day. If you are taking a supplement to get your daily calcium make sure you are also taking magnesium with it. Magnesium is the transport that brings the calcium to your cells. The ratio of magnesium to calcium should be 2:1. In other words if you are taking 1200mg of calcium you should also be taking 600mg of magnesium for a complete solution.
So there you have it. They may say that “milk does a body good,” but you can know that plants do a body better!
Emyrald Sinclaire is a Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Emyrald is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.