Calcium is required for carrying out a wide range of functions in the human body. It is a vital element that your body needs. Hence, it is important for you to get enough calcium through your foods.
Calcium plays a significant role in the maintenance and synthesis of bones and teeth. In addition to this, calcium is required for facilitating the movement of muscles and carrying signals between the brain and other body parts.
Deficiency of calcium can lead to a large number of problems like abnormal heart rate, eye damage, and increased risk of conditions like osteoporosis. Hence, it is important for you to achieve enough calcium from your diet to prevent the possibility of these problems.
The well-known calcium sources which are exceptionally high in this mineral are dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, etc. But these options are not suitable for vegans and vegetarians who do not consume dairy products. Hence, they will have to depend on plant-based foods for getting enough calcium they need.
There is a large number of plant-based calcium sources too. You can include them in your vegan recipes for getting adequate amounts of this mineral required by your body. The following are some of the best plant-based foods to include in your vegan meal.
Soybeans are popular calcium sources that are commonly used by vegans. One cup of cooked soybeans has almost 18.5% of the RDI and the same amount of immature soybeans contain 27.6%.
In addition to this, other foods made from soybeans like natto, tempeh, tofu, etc. are rich in this important nutrient too. Also, soymilk, which is popular non-dairy milk, is also a wonderful source of calcium.
In addition to calcium, soy foods are also a good source of many other vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, these foods are among the rarest foods that are considered a complete protein source. This is because soybeans contain all the nine essential amino acids in high amounts.
Lentils, Beans, And Peas
They are other important sources of calcium you should definitely include in your vegan recipes. There are different varieties of beans, peas, and lentils that you should include in your everyday diet. They include winged beans, navy beans, white beans, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
Moreover, these plant-based foods are also rich in many other nutrients including zinc, iron, potassium, folate, magnesium, etc. The wide range of nutrients present in these foods makes them some of the healthiest foods to include in your everyday diet.
However, they also have some antinutrients like lectins and phytates, which will minimize the ability of your body to absorb other nutrients. But sprouting, soaking, and fermenting lentils, peas, and beans can help to lower the amounts of antinutrients thereby allowing your body to absorb nutrients efficiently.
Along with providing a wide range of nutrients, these compounds can also help to reduce the risk of different diseases like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, etc.
Calcium will be present in all nuts in small amounts. But some nuts like almonds are especially high in calcium. Just ¼ cup of almonds offer 97mg of calcium, which is around 10% of the RDI. Another nut that is rich in calcium is Brazil nuts which offer 6% of RDI for the same amount.
Some other nuts including pistachios, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, etc. can also provide good amounts of calcium. Additionally, nuts can also provide many other nutrients including protein, healthy fats, fiber, etc. They are also rich in vitamin E, vitamin K, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Also, nuts are well-known for the wide range of minerals they contain including copper, selenium, potassium, and magnesium.
Including different nuts in your everyday diet can help to lose weight, regulate blood pressure, and lower the risk factors associated with metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Seeds as well as their butter can also provide you high amounts of calcium. But the amount of calcium can vary based on the type of seed you consume. Some of the best seeds that offer good amounts of calcium include sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
Seeds are also high in a wide range of other nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber, and many other beneficial plant compounds. They can also help to lower the chance of inflammation, heart diseases, increased blood sugar levels, etc.
Calcium is an important mineral that you need in high amounts for carrying out a large number of body functions. If you are following a vegan diet, then you should take good care to get sufficient amounts of this mineral. The plant-based foods listed above are great options for you to include in your vegan recipes for getting high amounts of calcium so that it will be possible for you to prevent the deficiency of this mineral.