Vegan-friendly foods that tick off your calcium quota!
Recently joined the vegan revolution, or simply cut out dairy from your diet? Research suggests that the number of vegans in the UK has quadrupled in the last 10 years – an increase that shows no sign of slowing down. Simultaneously, sales of plant-based milkshave also rocketed.
Is it healthy to cut dairy from your diet?
While vegan and vegetarian diets come with proven health benefits, those who follow strict plant-based diets are at risk of nutritional deficiencies, so vegans do need to make a conscious effort to consume certain foods.
Calcium, which is typically found in dairy produce, is essential for strong bones and healthy teeth. However, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain a diet that is low in diary but rich in calcium.
Frida Harju-Westman, nutritionist at Lifesum, offers her expert advice on which vegan-friendly foods come packed with calcium.
It’s a little known fact that oranges contain high levels of calcium. Eating just one orange has over 70 milligrams of calcium, providing 6 per cent of your calcium intake for the day, as well as a great boost of vitamin C, in just one snack.
Figs are another great fruit which contain high levels of calcium, plus significant amounts of antioxidants and fibre. Consuming approximately five dried figs per day can provide you with around 135mg of calcium, which goes a long way in helping you to achieve the required daily intake.
Broccoli is jam-packed with essential nutrients including vitamins A-K and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphorous, but it also contains exceptionally high levels of calcium, which is easily absorbed by the body.
Nuts aren’t the first thing that spring to mind when you think of calcium-rich foods, but many nuts contain a significant amount of calcium. Almonds in particular, are a great snack to help increase your calcium intake and are also one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming, which helps with immune function and energy.
White beans are rich in protein, iron and fibre, and they’re a great source of calcium, with approximately 175mg per serving. Alternatively try winged beans or navy beans, both of which come packed with plenty of calcium.
Leafy greens such as kale contain zero fat, are extremely low in calories, and have high levels of calcium. Add kale to your evening meal or make homemade kale chips for a healthy snack. Spinach is another great source of calcium, so try to add raw leaves to your salad or boil and have with scrambles eggs at breakfast.