5 non-dairy calcium sources for vegans to avoid a calcium deficiency

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Calcium is an essential nutrient that all living organisms require, especially to build strong bones and teeth. Not only that, calcium is essential to promote heart health and several other muscles in the body. Calcium deficiency in your system can lead to health problems such as hypoglycemia, osteoporosis and more. One of the best sources of calcium is milk or milk products, but some people are allergic to milk, or people who follow a vegan diet don’t prefer drinking milk. So, what are some calcium sources for vegans and lactose intolerant people?

Are you one of those people who don’t like drinking milk or are lactose intolerant? Scroll down to know how you can add calcium to your diet.

Why should you add calcium to your diet?

As mentioned, calcium plays a significant role in maintaining overall health. Around 99 percent of the calcium is in your bones and teeth. So, it is essential for overall development, growth and bone health.

Calcium can be consumed from sources other than milk products. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As per the data from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, adults are advised to consume at least a thousand milligrams of calcium every day. There can be a slight change in its regular amount according to age and gender. Did you know women require more calcium than men? Since the major source of calcium is milk, you need to look for other sources of calcium to avoid the onset of hypocalcemia.

Also Read: 6 things that happen if you are overconsuming calcium

5 calcium sources for vegans

If you choose not to drink milk, including these foods in your diet can help you meet your daily calcium requirements:

1. Nuts

If you are looking for a non-dairy source of calcium that isn’t milk, nuts should be your choice! They are one of the highest sources of calcium, and almonds offer the most calcium. Several medical journals state that one cup of almonds contains around 385 mg of calcium. They are also loaded with fibre and healthy fat. Almonds are also high in magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E.

2. Green leafy vegetables

Another great source of calcium is green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, etc. Studies have shown that consuming collard greens can increase your calcium intake by 21 percent. Not just calcium, it is also high in iron and folate.

Green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Figs

Figs are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and calcium. Several studies have shown that figs contain 70 milligrams of calcium. They are also a good source of potassium and vitamin K, two of the most essential micronutrients for bone health.

4. Beans and lentils

Beans and lentils are highly nutritious. They contain a chock-full of fibre, protein, magnesium, folate, zinc, and potassium.

Beans and lentils are a good source of calcium. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Seeds

Seeds are a tiny powerhouse of nutrients that contain calcium. Sesame seeds are a high source of calcium that you can include in your diet. About 100 grams of sesame seeds provide 97 percent of the daily calcium requirement. Seeds also contain magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Other seeds high in calcium include poppy, celery and chia seeds.

While these are natural and healthy sources of calcium, make sure to connect with your nutritionist to avoid allergies or other health complications.

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