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The majority of Americans would likely associate the words “protein” and “calcium” with animal sources; however, plant-based foods provide an abundant amount of both of these daily dietary requirements. The daily protein need for most adults is 46 g for women and 56 g for men, according to the CDC, with the daily recommended calcium intake at 1,000 – 1,200 mg. Achieving these numbers is easy to do on a vegan diet, as long as you know your power foods.
Tofu is high in both protein and calcium, with 22 g of protein per cup and a whopping 506 mg of calcium per cup. Tempeh, a fermented soy food, packs in 31 g of protein per cup! Beans and legumes are also loaded with protein and calcium. Lentils contain 18 g of protein and 36 mg of calcium per cup, white beans have 17.4 g of protein and 161 mg of calcium, and chickpeas have 15 g of protein and 80 mg of calcium per cup. And while you may know that leafy greens and broccoli are top calcium contenders (94 mg per cup for kale and 62 mg per cup for broccoli), they also contribute to your protein intake, with 5 g from a cup of cooked spinach and 4 g from a cup of cooked broccoli. Quinoa already has a great reputation for its protein profile (8 g of complete protein per cup), and even unsuspecting sweet potatoes add 4 g of protein per cup to a dish, in addition to 76 mg of calcium.
It sounds like we have the makings for some fabulous, nutritious recipes! Don’t worry: you don’t have to put them together on your own (although that could be fun!). Here are just a few of the delicious dishes we’ve already compiled that are brimming with both protein and calcium from plant-derived foods:
1. Kale Salad with Grilled Eggplant, White Beans, and Fresh Figs
3. Gingery Maple Glazed Tempeh on Baby Greens Salad
4. Superfood Salad
5. Quinoa and White Bean Burger
Lead image source: Superfood Salad