So where can I get all my Calcium needs?

Posted by Agata Larsson on

TOP SOURCES OF PLANT-BASED CALCIUM - By  Buffy Elllen (Edited by Nutritional Organic but not very much)

Calcium, Iron and Protein are some of the most commonly questioned in terms of whether you can get enough of them on a plant-based diet.  So here’s a nice little summary for you today on (a) why you need calcium, (b) how much you need, (c) what can inhibit and enhance absorption, and (d) (most importantly), where, oh where, you can get it.
Now, unlike what’s commonly marketed, cow’s milk and yoghurt are NOT the best sources of calcium. In fact, a significant and growing body of research actually shows that an excess intake of dairy products as well as animal protein in general, actually leads to calcium excretion from the body, as opposed to absorption. Plant foods are therefore a much safer, as well as considerably kinder and more sustainable way to get your daily calcium fix.
To make it nice and easy for you, I’ve scoured the nutritional databases and research to whittle down the top 75 sources of this lovely nutrient, in an easy to read table below. Have a friend or family member who’s worried about their calcium intake? Osteoporosis, menopause, or kids? Forward this email to them! I’d love to expand both their and your horizons, into the infinitely delicious and wonderful world of plant-based calcium containing foods.

So why do we need calcium? Here are the two main reasons why…
Calcium helps grow and repatriate healthy bones and teeth
Calcium assists with muscle contraction, including that needed in our heart (think of it as the opposite to magnesium, the muscle relaxant).

How much do I need? The recommended daily intakes for calcium are as follows. Now these numbers may not mean that much in themselves, but read these in conjunction with the top food sources below and you’ll soon see how you can fill out your numbers easily. If you’re eating a varied plant-based diet, as I recommend, with lots of greens, nuts and seeds, legumes, tofu and tempeh, you’ll be getting ample amounts.
Infants 1-3 years – 500mg/day Children 4-8 years – 700mg/day
Adult – 1000mg/day Elderly (>50 yrs for men, >70 yrs for women) – 1300mg/day

What can impact absorption? Note that vitamin D enhances absorption, while phytates, oxalates and tannins inhibit absorption. This means: Vitamin D – make sure you’re getting half an hour in the sun each day (early morn and late afternoon in summer, midday in winter).
Phytates – soak your nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.
Oxalates – don’t eat too many raw dark leafy vegetables or beetroot (sometimes it’s good to lightly steam them to reduce your oxalate intake).
Tannins – don’t drink too much black tea with your meals.

And finally – where can I find my calcium! We’re often told by media (who are sponsored in large part by the cash-rich dairy corporations) that the best sources of calcium are cow’s milk, yoghurt and cheese. Not true my friends. There are a plethora of other sources, many of which are much higher in calcium than their dairy counterparts. Here is my comprehensive list of the world’s Top Sources of Plant-Based Calcium, from sesame seeds and tahini, to tofu, tempeh, dark leafy greens, spices and spirulina.


Calcium (mg/100g)

Basil (dried)

2,240 mg

Marjoram (dried)

1,990 mg

Sage (ground)

1,652 mg

Spearmint (dried)

1,488 mg

Poppy Seeds


Rosemary (dried)

1,280 mg


1,002 mg

Sesame Seeds (unhulled)

975 mg


813 mg

Maca Powder

740 mg

Edam Cheese – if we were to include it, it would come in here

731 mg


632 mg

Chia Seeds

631 mg


460 mg

Tahini (unhulled)

426 mg


405 mg

Carob Powder

348 mg

Almond Butter

347 mg


277 mg

Almonds (natural)

269 mg


255 mg


243 mg

Collard Greens

232 mg


215 mg


205 mg

Goji Berry

190 mg


170 mg


168 mg


160 mg

Black-eyed Beans

160 mg

Brazil Nuts

160 mg


160 mg


150 mg

Sesame Seed (hulled)

131 mg


128 mg

Soya milk

120 mg

Coconut Milk

120 mg

Almond Milk

120 mg

This is where we stop at Nuttie organics as this is cow’s milk.

119 mg






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