Most people grew up believing that the best (or only) way to get calcium was to drink a big ol’ glass of milk, eating cheese, or snacking on yogurt. However, despite what the dairy industry would like consumers to believe, consumers can get the daily recommendation of calcium from fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based sources. Calcium-fortified non-dairy milk, broccoli, soybeans, kale, fortified tofu, and spinach are all wonderful sources of calcium.
On average, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults age 19-50 is 1000 milligrams. While you can totally meet this recommendation by eating whole foods that happen to be rich in calcium, nowadays, as we mentioned before, there are calcium-fortified beverages like soy and almond milk, as well as products like tofu. And there are also snacks that include calcium-rich vegetables like spinach and broccoli, so that you can eat your greens in snack form (if vegetables aren’t really your cup of tea). Not sure where to start on your quest for calcium? Let us guide you! Here are 10 calcium-rich vegan products that prove you don’t need dairy for calcium!
Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk
For decades now, milk has been touted as one of the richest sources of calcium. Well, as Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk proves, non-dairy milk is just as impressive in the calcium department. In fact, one serving of Califia almond milk (eight fluid ounces) has 45 percent of the daily recommendation for calcium, 50 percent more than regular milk. Pretty impressive! It is also non-GMO, soy-free, and has only 40 calories per serving. Reviewers are saying that this almond milk is delicious, is great for cereal and dipping cookies, and although it’s unsweetened, has a pleasant taste. One reviewer notes that this milk may not be the best for coffee, though, since it’s not particularly creamy. To try it yourself, you can get one 48-ounce bottle for $5.
Zinke Orchards Creamy Almond Butter
Almond butter is a pantry must-have. It’s protein-rich, easy to use, shelf-stable, and very nutritious if you make sure to buy a brand that doesn’t pile on extra sugar or additives. Zinke Orchards Creamy Almond Butter, for instance, is free from additives and preservatives, is manufactured in a peanut-free facility, and is made from just one ingredient: dry roasted almonds. Each serving (one ounce) has five grams of protein, one gram of fiber, and nine percent of the daily calcium recommendation. Reviewers are reporting that this almond butter is “nice and creamy” even after a while in the pantry, is possibly the “cleanest almond butter” on the market, and some are even saying it is the best almond butter they’ve ever tried! You can a pack of three 16-ounce jars for $30.
Nubeleaf Spinach Powder
Did you know that in addition to being rich in protein and vitamins, spinach also has a hefty amount of calcium? It’s true. Don’t worry if you don’t always have time to incorporate these leafy greens in your daily intake, though. That’s where products like Nubeleaf Spinach Powder come in handy. This whole food, one ingredient powder has no additives, fillers, or preservatives, and as the company relays, can be added right into smoothies, soups, sauces, pastas, and baked goods like bread. Each serving is just 25 calories and provides 11 percent of the daily recommendation for calcium. You can get a one-pound bag for $25.
Nasoya Super Firm Tofu
While typical tofu doesn’t tend to have a lot of calcium Nasoya Super Firm Tofu, due to its inclusion of calcium sulfate, actually has a whole 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium. As is the case with most tofu, it is made with water and soybeans (in this case whole and sprouted), as well as nigari, or sea water extract. This product does not need to be pressed like many other tofu products do. It is also non-GMO. You can get one 16-ounce package for about $2.50.
Daiya Cheezy Mac
Just like milk, cheese is also considered a rich source of calcium. Well, turns out, the same goes for a lot of non-dairy cheeses! Daiya Cheezy Mac, for instance, is made from brown rice pasta, filtered water, tapioca starch, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, coconut oil, sea salt, vegan natural flavors, pea protein isolate, potato protein, and tricalcium. Each serving (1/3 of the package) has 20 percent of the daily recommendation for calcium. Reviewers are reporting that this product is creamy, decently nutritious, and apparently tastes “exactly like regular mac and cheese.” One reviewer even said they would give this product 40 stars if they could. That’s enthusiastic! To try it for yourself, you can get a pack of eight 10.6-ounce boxes for $35.
Nutria White Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are so tiny, you would never expect that they would pack so much nutrition! For example, just one serving of Nutria White Sesame Seeds (two tablespoons) has 13 percent of the daily recommendation for iron and 16 percent for calcium. Nutria recommends using these organic seeds as a salad topper, mixing it into pasta, or just snack on them straight from the bag. Most of the reviewers seem to enjoy this product and have been using it to make tahini and horchata, as well as using it in dishes for some added nutrition. You can get one 16-ounce bag for $10.
Clif Builder’s Protein Bar
Made specifically for active people, it’s not too big of a surprise that Clif Builder’s Protein Bar has a slew of nutritional benefits. It is made primarily from soy protein isolate, beet juice concentrate, organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup, palm kernel oil, organic peanut butter, organic peanuts, and organic rolled oats. Each bar contains 20 grams of protein, 23 essential vitamins and minerals, including 30 percent of the daily recommendation of calcium. Reviewers are saying that this bar is energizing, filling, and one of the best-tasting protein bars on the market. You can get a box of 12 2.4-ounce bars for $17.
5AM Popped Amaranth
Amaranth is an ancient grain with a high amount of potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. While it is typically cooked by boiling, nowadays you can also buy popped amaranth which is putting amaranth on a hot pan and letting it “pop,” essentially turning it into a somewhat crunchy cereal. 5AM Popped Amaranth is organic, gluten-free, and has 30 percent of the daily recommendation for calcium. 5AM suggests enjoying this amaranth with non-dairy milk for breakfast, on top of smoothie bowls, or creating granola bars with it. You can get a pack of three bags for $15.
Explore Asian Soy Bean Spaghetti
Think soybeans are only good for making milk and tofu? Think again. Explore Asian Soybean Spaghetti is composed of organic golden soybean and water and reviewers are reporting that these noodles are hearty, “phenomenally high-protein,” and a “solid alternative for spaghetti.” One reviewer even said that these are better than traditional spaghetti noodles! Not to mention, just one two-ounce serving of this spaghetti provides 11 percent of the daily calcium recommendation. You can get six seven-ounce packages for $25 if you want to try them out yourself.
Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets
Most people know that brocolli has a pretty decent amount of protein, but did you know that there are products nowadays that allow you to get the nutritional benefits of broccoli in snack form? Take Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunch Broccoli Florets, for example. This snack is made from three ingredients: broccoli florets, palm oil, and salt. Each bag contains 20 percent of the daily vitamin A recommendation, 140 percent of the vitamin C, and 10 percent for calcium. Reviewers are saying that this snack is tasty, nice and crunchy, and healthy. One reviewer points out that some of the broccoli florets must get crushed in transit. If you don’t mind this, or figure you could probably pour the dust over something like pasta or salad, you can get one bag for $12.
Lead image source: Healthy Mac N’ Cheese