Maximize your nutrients, minize your calories

Best Vegan Sources Of Calcium

Too much?

First, let's discuss how much calcium you actually need. The USDA recommends 1000mg. But, this is a bit high according to other sources. The WHO (world health organization) recommends we get 500mg and the UK sets the goal at 700mg.

Too much calcium is not beneficial. A thorough study of 18000 post menopausal women showed that increased calcium intake does NOT decrease bone fractures. Furthermore:

"Based on those studies, in 1997 an Institute of Medicine panel raised the recommendation for calcium intake from 800 mg to 1,200 mg a day for women over 50. That wasn't a sound decision, Dr. Willett says: "The recommendation was based on calcium balance studies that lasted just a few weeks. In fact, calcium balance is determined over the course of years." Moreover, there wasn't any evidence that consuming that much calcium actually prevented fractures. "

High calcium intake does not reduce hip fractures based on a conclusion of a 2007 report by American and Swiss scientists who analyzed more than a dozen studies on calcium.

In the women's health initiative they found that calcium supplements can lead to the formation of Kidney stones.

It can lead to an increased risk of heart disease

"In a randomized study of 1,471 postmenopausal women conducted in New Zealand, 21 of 732 women who took 1,000 mg of calcium a day had heart attacks, compared with 10 of 736 who received a placebo. A 2010 analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials also linked calcium supplementation with an increased risk of heart attack."
- according to harvard health

How much?

500 mg is all you need according to the WHO, as well Harvard's Dr. Willett. Preferrably, you'd want to get it from plant based sources. Dairy is very high in calcium but much of it goes through your body and gets urinated out.

Let's take a look at some of the highest concentrations of calcium in each food group: Fruits, Vegetables, Beans, Grains and Nuts. As usual, all figures shown are normalized to 200 calories to make for an even comparison.


Fruit mg % DRI 500mg
Mulberries 181 36%
Lemon (no peel) 179 36%
Orange, Navel 176 35%
Kumquat 175 35%
BlackBerry 135 27%
Clementines 128 26%
Papayas 123 25%
Raspberries 116 23%
Kiwi 111 22%
Elderberry 104 21%
Strawberry 100 20%
Figs 95 19%
Grapefruit 75 15%
Loquat 68 14%
Cherries 64 13%
*All our data comes from the USDA Nutrient Database.



Keep in mind, 200 calories of leafy greens is a lot of leafy greens! 1 Cup of spinach is roughly 7 calories, which means it's about 30 times less quantity than the figures below.

Vegetable mg % DRI 500mg
Watercress 2182 436%
Pak-choi 1615 323%
Arugula 1280 256%
Beet Greens 1064 213%
Collards 967 193%
Spinach 861 172%
Mustard Greens 792 158%
Kale 540 108%
Lettuce (Butterhead) 538 108%
Chard 537 107%
Celery 500 100%
*All our data comes from the USDA Nutrient Database.

Collards, shown:


Beans % DRI 500mg
Green Soybeans 54%
Green Beans 50%
Yellow snap beans 48%
Yardlong beans 48%
White Beans 29%
Great Northern beans 21%
Kidney Beans 17%
Fava beans 17%
Black Beans 14%
Pinto Beans 13%
Lima Beans 12%
Navy Beans 9%
Adzuki (red bean) 9%
*All our data comes from the USDA Nutrient Database.

Yardlong bean, shown:

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts & Seeds % DRI 500mg
Chia Seeds 52%
Coconut Water 51%
Pumpkin Seeds 36%
Flaxseeds 19%
Almonds 18%
Pistachio 7.6%
Hazelnut 7.2%
Macadamia 4.7%
Peanuts 3.6%
Walnuts 4%
Cashews 2.6%
*All our data comes from the USDA Nutrient Database.

As you can see there's high calcium foods in every food category! Grains aren't very high in calcium so they didn't get a table.

But, as you can see, most fruits and veggies are very high in calcium. Beans and sees are also very high in calcium with Chia seeds coming out on top for the seed category.

Keep in mind, non-dairy items in the dairy section (such as almond milk, soymilk, etc) are also very high in calcium but that is due to the calcium that the manufacturer added (usually calcium sulfate).

Now, you can easily get enough calcium from any food category. And, if you want to see how we got these lists, feel free to try out our Nutrient based Food/Recipe Finder.




Kale.World is all about nutritional density – all our findings are normalized on a per calorie basis, making it easier to compare various foods.