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10 Vegan Foods With More Calcium Than a Cup of Milk


Each glass of cow’s milk comes with an unimaginable amount of animal suffering. So ditch the dairy and include these calcium-rich plant-based foods in your diet:





Spinach in a collandar10. Spinach

Calcium: 123 mg per 1/2 serving (cooked)

Frozen or cooked fresh leaves are just as nutritious and have a much nicer texture than the canned variety. Toss lightly cooked spinach into a pasta salad (leave out the cheese or use a vegan substitute).

9. Turnip Greensturnip greens9. Turnip Greens

Calcium: 125 mg per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

As with beets, turnip greens are even more nutritious than their roots. Try them baked in white wine with onions and a dash of Dijon mustard, or blend them into pesto (leave out the cheese or substitute a vegan option) to toss over pasta or cooked whole barley.

8. Edamameedamame8. Edamame

Calcium: 131 mg per 1/2 cup serving (cooked) 

These toothsome beauties are soybeans that are picked while still green and tender. Boil the beans in the pods, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve as a snack. Or try the shelled beans in this Corn, Mango, Edamame Salad.

7. Amaranth Leavesamaranth7. Amaranth Leaves

Calcium: 138 mg per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

One of the most commonly eaten greens in warm climates, amaranth’s tender shoots and young leaves can be substituted for spinach in any recipe, or try simmering them in natural coconut milk for an exotic treat. 

6. Mustard Greensmustard green pesto6. Mustard Greens

Calcium: 142 mg per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

If you like foods with a little bite, you’ll love cooked mustard greens. Try them sautéed with toasted sesame oil, or whip up a mustardy pesto and serve it over pasta (leave out the cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute).

5. Collard Greenscollards16/20 GKRPHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK5. Collard Greens

Calcium: 188 mg per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

Basically a nonheading cabbage, collards offer a lot more nutrition because each leaf is exposed to the sun. They are terrific chopped and stewed with onion, tomatoes, garlic, and hot pepper, or use them instead of cabbage leaves to make stuffed cabbage rolls. 

4. Tempehtempeh4. Tempeh

Calcium: 184 mg per 1 cup serving

A traditional soyfood, tempeh is made by cracking and boiling dry soybeans, inoculating the cooked beans with a special fungus, and allowing it to convert the beans into a chewy, flavorful food that is high in protein and calcium. Try substituting sliced, chopped, or crumbled tempeh for meat in any recipe. Marinate it overnight before cooking to boost the flavor even more.

3. Stinging Nettlesstinging nettles3. Stinging Nettles

Calcium: 214 mg per 1/2 cup serving (cooked)

This common wild plant contains the biggest calcium punch of any green vegetable. It is used as a spring tonic and as an all-around health-promoting herb in many cultures. Use gloves when harvesting to protect yourself from stings (don’t worry, the stinging chemical is deactivated by cooking).

2. Sesame Seedssesame asparagus2. Sesame Seeds

Calcium: 273 mg per 1 ounce serving 

These tiny nutritional powerhouses are crammed with calcium and other minerals, especially copper and manganese. Enjoy sesame seeds in crunchy candies, add ground sesame seed paste (a.k.a tahini) to hummus, or sprinkle the nutty seeds over Asparagus With Ginger + Garlic for extra flavor and nutrition.

1. Tofustir fry1. Tofu

Calcium: 861 mg per 1/2 cup serving

Tofu is made from soybeans, which are naturally high in calcium, and it gets an extra kick from the gypsum (a.k.a. calcium sulfate) that is used to change the milky cooked soybean liquid into chewy curds. The more water that gets pressed out of the curds, the firmer it is and the more calcium it contains per cup, so firm tofu packs an astonishing amount of calcium, regular tofu about half as much, and soft or silken tofu about a quarter as much.


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