Plant-Based Foods Rich in Calcium

It can be challenging to get enough calcium on a plant-based diet. To help you make the right dietary choices, we are bringing you a list of 50+ plant-based foods rich in calcium.


What is calcium?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. 99% of our calcium is found in bones and teeth. As such, it plays a well-known role in the health and density of our teeth and bones.

However, calcium is also involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, as well as participating in several enzymatic processes.

How much calcium do you need?

Calcium daily requirements vary depending on your age and sex.

SexAge: 4 – 18Age: 19 – 50Age: 51 – 70Age > 71
Male1,300 mg1,000 mg1,000 mg1,200 mg
Female1,300 mg1,000 mg1,200 mg1,200 mg

If you are taking a multivitamin, check the label to see what portion of your daily calcium intake it may supply you with.

The % DV (Percent Daily Value) you see on nutritional labels tends to be based on the standard 1,000 mg per day requirement.

Concerns about calcium supplementations have been blown out of proportion, as it’s fine to supplement it in small doses. Out of caution, however, it is still recommended to get most of your calcium from food rather than supplements.

Consequences of calcium deficiency

Bone fragility is one of the consequences of calcium deficiency.

In the long run, not eating enough calcium has serious consequences. It impacts bone health, leading to osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis (bone loss and weakness) in adults, and rickets and stunted growth in children.

Hypocalcemia also impacts your nervous system, potentially leading to irritability, tetany (spasms of the extremities), cramps (both abdominal and muscular), and muscular stiffness.

Studies have also found that low calcium intake is associated with kidney stones, low blood pressure, and an increased risk of CVD (Cardiovascular Disease).

Conversely, an excess of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), whether caused by excessive intake or overactive parathyroid glands, is also a serious medical concern.

Too much calcium is associated with constipation, nausea, dry mouth, kidney stones (particularly when heavily supplemented), and poor bone health. In addition, it can negatively impact both your heart and brain.

List of plant-based foods rich in calcium

Omnivores get the majority of their calcium from dairy products such as cheese and milk. In this article, we list plant-based foods that are rich in calcium, as omitting dairy products from your diet can make meeting one’s calcium intake requirements more challenging.

However, if you incorporate many of these calcium-rich foods into your diet you are likely to meet your calcium needs without too much effort. 

There are several vegetables (dark leafy greens in particular), nuts, seeds, beans, grains, and even fruits, that contain decent amounts of calcium.

Let’s review each category.

Vegetables rich in calcium

Bok Choy is one of the vegetables rich in calcium.

Below you’ll find a list of vegetables rich in calcium.

(per 100 g)
(per 100 g)
(per 100 cal)
Calcium % DV
(per 100 cal)
Bok Choy13 cal105 mg808 mg81%
Kale35 cal254 mg726 mg73%
Arugula25 cal160 mg640 mg64%
Turnip Greens32 cal190 mg594 mg59%
Collards35 cal201 mg574 mg57%
Broccoli Rabe24 cal120 mg500 mg50%
Spinach24 cal99 mg413 mg41%
Rhubarb21 cal86 mg410 mg41%
Mustard Greens24 cal94 mg392 mg39%
Kelp43 cal168 mg391 mg39%
Swiss Chard19 cal51 mg268 mg27%
Celery14 cal 36 mg257 mg 26%
Okra44 cal80 mg182 mg18%
Blackstrap Molasses400 cal667 mg167 mg17%
Cabbage25 cal40 mg160 mg16%
Fennel31 cal49 mg158 mg16%
Broccoli31 cal46 mg148 mg15%
Green Beans29 cal35 mg121 mg12%
Brussels Sprouts41 cal47 mg115 mg11%
Artichokes50 cal50 mg100 mg10%
Butternut Squash47 cal47 mg100 mg10%
Leeks61 cal59 mg97 mg10%
Asparagus29 cal24 mg83 mg8%
Pumpkin42 cal33 mg79 mg8%
Onions40 cal23 mg58 mg6%
Edamame127 cal56 mg44 mg4%
Sweet Potato85 cal30 mg35 mg4%

As you can see, some of these have a huge amount of calcium in them. For reference, the calcium amount of cow milk is 30% DV per cup.

Keep in mind, though, that some vegetables (e.g., spinach and rhubarb) have a high content of oxalates which bind to the calcium within the plant, making it less bioavailable. You can think of it as the vegetable having calcium but being greedy with it. 🙂

For this reason, we do not recommend loading up solely on spinach, for example, in an attempt to meet calcium requirements. Variety is king.

Nuts and seeds rich in calcium

Selected seeds are rich in calcium.

Below you’ll find a list of nuts and seeds rich in calcium.

(per 100 g)
(per 100 g)
(per 100 cal)
Calcium % DV
(per 100 cal)
Celery Seeds392 cal1767 mg451 mg45%
Poppy Seeds533 cal1500 mg281 mg28%
Sesame Seeds573 cal975 mg170 mg17%
Chia Seeds489 cal643 mg131 mg13%
Flax Seeds534 cal255 mg48 mg5%
Almonds567 cal267 mg47 mg5%
Brazil Nuts659 cal160 mg24 mg2%

Despite being caloric, some of these seeds have enough calcium in them that even a 100 calorie “investment” can give you a sizable portion of your daily calcium requirements.

Beans and grains rich in calcium

Some beans are rich in calcium.

Below you’ll find a list of some beans and grains worth considering.

(per 100 g)
(per 100 g)
(per 100 cal)
Calcium % DV
(per 100 cal)
Winged Beans (cooked)147 cal142 mg97 mg10%
White Beans (cooked)142 cal73 mg51 mg5%
Amaranth (dry)371 cal159 mg43 mg4%
Kidney Beans (cooked)127 cal28 mg22 mg2%

Objectively, their calcium content is not huge, but it all adds up at the end of the day. Plus beans are great for you, so you should be eating them anyway and their calcium content is just an added bonus.

Fruits rich in calcium

Fruits rich in calcium.

Fruits don’t tend to be very high in calcium, but there are some exceptions. Below we list a few that are rich in calcium.

(per 100 g)
(per 100 g)
(per 100 cal)
Calcium % DV
(per 100 cal)
Prickly Pears41 cal56 mg137 mg14%
Mulberry43 cal39 mg91 mg9%
Oranges47 cal40 mg85 mg9%
Blackberries43 cal29 mg67 mg7%
Papaya43 cal20 mg47 mg5%
Grapefruit32 cal12 mg38 mg4%
Dried Figs304 cal107 mg35 mg4%

Processed vegan foods rich in calcium

Plant-based foods rich in calcium.

Several plant-based foods are also fortified with calcium. Some examples of vegan foods rich in calcium include:

  • Plant-based milk
  • Orange juice
  • Tofu prepared with calcium
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Cereals
  • Vegan protein
  • Vegan bars
  • Plant-based meats
  • Plant-based cheeses

These will often have 20% or more of the DV for calcium per serving.

Our stance is to go easy on processed foods, but if you already partake in these foods, it’s worth checking the nutritional label to verify their calcium content.


The take-home lesson is that the world of plant-based eating offers plenty of non-diary foods that are rich in calcium. You just have to ensure to eat a few each day to meet your daily calcium requirements.

As usual, if you question whether you are getting enough calcium, consider logging your food for a few days with an app like Cronometer. It will tell you whether you are meeting your calcium (and other micronutrients) goals.

Checking your plasma calcium levels with a blood test is always a good idea and if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, you should discuss them with your doctor.

Generally speaking, as long as you meet your daily requirements from plant-based foods you shouldn’t be deficient. As a reminder, Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium, so make sure you supplement it if required.

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