Cow’s milk, cheese, and other dairy products have previously been touted as calcium-rich solutions to weak, frail bones, but those dairy products may actually be doing more to harm than to help you.
Cows’ milk is formulated specifically for their calves, who are stolen away from their serially pregnant mothers so that humans can take the milk. In addition, people who consume dairy products retain less calcium than those who get their calcium from veggies.
In fact, a Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that consuming two or more glasses of milk a day put people at a higher risk for broken hips and arms than those who drank one or fewer glasses of milk a day. If you want to retain the calcium that you consume, try these vegan sources of calcium, which will strengthen your bones, not weaken them the way that dairy products do.
1. Black-Eyed Peas
Dish up a side of 1 cup of these peas alongside your favorite lunch for 370 mg of calcium.
2. Silk Original Soymilk
One serving of this milk packs 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk.
3. Sesame Seeds
Snack on 2 ounces of these seeds for 560 mg of calcium. Tahini, a ground sesame-seed paste, is a main ingredient in hummus, so continue snacking!
A crisp, refreshing, and fiber-packed 3.5-cup chopped kale salad will give you 305 mg of calcium. If you’re not in the mood for salad, try one of these other kale recipes.
5. Califia Farms Plant Milks
This popular almond milk is delicious and packs 120 mg of calcium more than a glass of dairy milk.
6. Turnip Greens
Just 1.5 cups of these cooked greens supply just short of 300 mg of calcium.
Depending on the type of seaweed, it can supply up to 10 times more calcium than milk. The calcium in seaweed is also considered to be more bioavailable than that of most other sources.
8. White Beans
Two cups will give you 382 mg of calcium and a significant amount of iron. Try them mashed into a white bean hummus or in this delicious white bean alfredo sauce.
9. Blackstrap Molasses
Two tablespoons supply 344 mg of calcium. Try replacing the maple syrup on some delicious vegan pancakes or the sweetener in your coffee for a calcium boost.
10. Silk Cashewmilk
This nondairy milk contains 45 percent of the RDA for calcium, or 360 mg.
11. Fortified Orange Juice
A single 8-ounce serving can contain as much as 500 mg of calcium, which is 50 percent of the RDA.
12. Rice Dream Original + Calcium & Vitamins
One glass of this rice milk contains 240 mg or 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium. It’s also fortified with vitamin D to ensure that you absorb as much of the calcium as possible.
13. Firm Tofu
In addition to being full of protein, half a cup of tofu can supply as much as 861 mg, or 86 percent, of the RDA of calcium. Try making a delicious tofu scramble, which, along with a glass of orange juice, will supply your complete RDA of calcium.