Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!


Health Monster

The Importance of Calcium and How to Get Enough Without Dairy


Milk equals strong bones, or at least that’s the false myth that I grew up believing. Now that I know that dairy is actually a hindrance to maintaining healthy bones and overall health, I’m turning to plants to get my calcium intake. The good news is by changing my diet to a 100 percent plant-based diet, I haven’t become weak and fragile without a glass of cow’s milk or cup of Greek yogurt a day. This is a huge surprise to people that know me, considering I live in the Bible Belt of the Southeast.

Calcium is a nutrient derived from the soil and is an important nutrient you need to maintain a healthy nervous system, healthy blood pressure levels, strong bones and teeth, and to prevent osteoporosis. I figure, why not just get it straight from the source (plants) instead of making the poor cow suffer in the meantime (and paying for it with my own dollars)?

Calcium is found abundantly in so many plant-based foods, many of which might surprise you. You don’t need to worry about getting enough on a plant-based diet since most all plant food sources of calcium are easy to absorb. They contain other nutrients that provide your body with bone and heart support, and best of all, they aren’t acidic like dairy. Highly acidic dairy foods and other animal foods actually break down your bones and contribute to a large number of health problems. 

Eat more of these plant-based sources of calcium and ditch the dairy for good!


By far one of the best sources of calcium is collard greens, which contain 268 milligrams in one cup of cooked greens. Collards are also fairly low in oxylates, which bind to calcium in the body and can lead to poor absorption. It’s a great alternative to spinach for this reason, which is high in oxylates (though also high in calcium.)


About eight to ten dried figs contain as much calcium as one glass of milk. Not too shabby for such a delicious little dried fruit, eh? Figs are also a great source of fiber, iron, and potassium. We love using them in kale salad, energy bars, smoothies, and porridge.


Almonds are another top source of calcium, along with magnesium and fiber. They even contain protein and heart-healthy fats to boot. You can make your own almond milk or almond butter if you don’t enjoy them raw.

Fortified Plant-Based Milks

Plant-based milks like soy, almond, and even coconut, hemp, cashew, and flax milk are all great sources of calcium.They’re fortified with soil-based calcium (not chemical alternatives) and can help up your intake in a delicious way. Most plant-based milks contain over 30 percent of your daily calcium, while some have almost 50 percent more than dairy milk. I find it’s easy to get enough of these delicious milks by using them in smoothies and oatmeal. Rotate them weekly so you get a variety of nutrients.


Many people are surprised to learn that broccoli is a fantastic source of calcium, containing 180 milligrams in just one cup of cooked broccoli and 115 mg in one raw stalk. Eating a cup a day can easily help you increase your calcium intake to ensure you get enough. Not a fan of steamed broccoli? Sneak a couple florets into your next smoothie recipe or even your next batch of veggie burgers. Also, try this Broccoli ‘Cheese’ Pasta Bake.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a true superfood in every way. It’s packed with fiber, Vitamin A, and contains 84 milligrams of calcium, which is almost 10 percent of your daily needs. Try these Butternut Squash Muffins.


One cup of kale contains 94 milligrams of plant-based calcium, along with magnesium, fiber, chlorophyll, vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C. Not that we need another reason to eat kale, but it never hurts to have yet another to adore this leafy green, right? Try these kale recipes.

Chia Seeds

This comes as no surprise: chia seeds contain yet another nutrient that makes them a true superfood. Chia seeds are loaded with calcium and yield many benefits as a result. I’ve specifically noticed how much stronger my nails, hair, and my muscles are since adding chia to my diet. Chia contains roughly 177 milligrams per ounce (about two tablespoons), which is 18 percent of your daily needs. That’s incredible for such a tiny seed! Adding a tablespoon twice a day to your smoothies, oatmeal, salads, baked goods, and entrees is a great way to ensure that you get enough.

Other great sources of calcium include: oatmeal with 105 milligrams, and soy beans with 261 milligrams. You’ll need 1000 milligrams of calcium to reach your daily quota without a supplement, so eat as many plant-based sources of calcium to get this important nutrient into your diet without an ounce of dairy needed.

The Importance of Calcium and How to Get Enough Without Dairy

BONUS Recommendation: Download the Food Monster App

baked samosa flautas

If you enjoy articles and recipes like these and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8k recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8k+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

Image Source: Raw Massaged Kale Salad with Fresh Figs and Oranges

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

5 Steps to Put Out the Fire of Inflammation in the Body

5 Ways to Reduce Inflammation

How Eating the Rainbow Can Help Protect Against Cancer


10 Great Reasons Why Local, Organic Food is the Best Choice for Everyone

10 Great Reasons Why Local, Organic Food is the Best Choice for Everyone

Important Nutrients for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels, Especially for Diabetics


Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

33 comments on “The Importance of Calcium and How to Get Enough Without Dairy”

Click to add comment
7 Months Ago

The ads are awful, but I waded through 2 articles. First, you trash cow milk. Then you list soy as a viable alternative. You do realize that soy contains plant hormones that can mess with our natural levels, right? It also can be damaging to the thyroid. Soy is BAD news.

Adela Trejo
1 Years Ago

why can't I read the article…only ads appear! so annoying!

Olivia Kossuth
1 Years Ago

Very nice recipes :)

Natalie Topa
1 Years Ago


Frances Emily Loy
1 Years Ago

Karen Burge!!

Martine Meulmann
1 Years Ago

Vit D3 will make sure the calcium is actually being absorbed in your body.

Kristina Cahill
10 Nov 2015

This is key. Most people are deficient in this important Vitamin! Without it CA wont' be absorbed.

Justine Stojowski
1 Years Ago

R R Scarano Jr

R Scarano Jr
09 Nov 2015


Cain Fowler
1 Years Ago

Question answered haha! Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee
09 Nov 2015

Next ? X

Tony Silk
1 Years Ago

Seraiah Harrold

Tamalin Vajda
1 Years Ago

Calcium comes from the ground any thing you eat from the ground gives you calcium. Not a cow.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×