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Calcium Sources

A unique project to promote an awareness of the many benefits of a plant-based (vegan) diet.

Sources of Calcium: Plant-based (vegan) vs. animal sources

 

There is a great deal of information on the internet about the importance of calcium in the diet, as well as the most healthful sources. Below are some links to articles about calcium. Please feel free to visit these articles for additional information. Following the article links is our extensive table of calcium sources with other nutritional information.

 
 
Celebrities for Health Pages:

 

According to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM),

"The most healthful calcium sources are green leafy vegetables and legumes"

PCRM has a terrific article about calcium and protecting your bones: Calcium and Strong Bones http://www.pcrm.org/health/Preventive_Medicine/strong_bones.html

 

Here's a very informative article about milk from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) :

"Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product" http://www.peta.org/mc/facts/fsveg8.html

Below is an additional article from PETA, with information on calcium for children. According to the article: "Calcium--Drinking cow's milk is one of the least effective ways to strengthen bones."

"Vegan Children: Happy and Healthy" http://www.peta.org/mc/facts/fsveg6.html

 

Here is a quote from VegSource.com, from the section "What About Calcium?":

"Some researchers question the wisdom of current government calcium recommendations. They note that the Standard American Diet is so fundamentally flawed that trying to protect our bones by taking in loads of calcium is like trying to fill a tub with no stopper by turning up the faucets." http://www.vegsource.com/articles/veg_definition.htm

 

The NOTMILK web site brings us this comment about osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis - American women have been consuming an average of two pounds of milk per day for their entire lives, yet thirty million American women have osteoporosis. Drinking milk does not prevent bone loss. Bone loss is accelerated by ingesting too much protein, and milk has been called "liquid meat." http://www.notmilk.com/o.html

 

Here is some information from the American Heart Association about Vegetarian Diets:

Calcium: Studies have shown that vegetarians absorb and retain more calcium from foods than do non-vegetarians. Vegetable greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and some legumes and soybean products are good sources of calcium from plants. http://www.americanheart.org/Heart_and_Stroke_A_Z_Guide/vegdiet.html

 

Here is yet more information from the Vegetarian Pages:

Everything you ever wanted to know about calcium in 5 easy lessons

High protein diets appear to lead to increased calcium losses. Calcium requirements for those on lower protein, plant-based diets are believed to be below the usual recommendations. http://www.veg.org./veg/Articles/calcium.html

Most studies have shown that high doses of calcium do not slow bone loss. In fact, many populations with high intakes of calcium also have high rates of osteoporosis[5], probably because their high protein intake causes significant calcium loss...

The type of protein may also be important. At least one study shows that soy protein, even at high levels, does not increase calcium excretion the same way that protein from animal sources does

 

According to the article from New Century Nutrition, The Great American Milk Myth, by Dr. Charles R. Attwood :

"Good bone density attained by the age of 18-25 usually lasts a lifetime for people who consume a balanced plant-based diet and remain physically active. The problem with milk and other dairy products is that they are not only rich in calcium but they are also high in protein, which has been shown to create calcium loss through the urinary tract." http://www.newcenturynutrition.com/NCN/ariticles/milk_myth.html

 

Please keep in mind that animal products (dairy products, eggs, fish meats, etc.) contain cholesterol and there is no need for the intake of cholesterol. The human body makes its own cholesterol. Even PCRM is making the recommendation in their lawsuit that the federal dietary guidelines reflect this. They suggest:

d. The Guidelines should state: "The body naturally produces all the cholesterol it needs, and additional intake of cholesterol is unnecessary for a healthful diet." http://www.pcrm.org/news/lawsuit_comments.html

 

A new marketing campaign suggests people who consume non-dairy products miss a "dairy opportunity". Supposedly, this "dairy opportunity" is an opportunity to consume dairy to benefit from it's calcium and other nutrients instead of consuming something else. To many, a true "dairy opportunity" would be to, instead of consuming dairy, consume more healthful non-dairy foods. Mothers milk from other species of animals is not designed for humans, especially after being treated with high pressure to alter molecules and after being subjected to high heat to pasteurize it. Fresh vegetable juices are loaded with nutrients. Greens offer amazing nutrition. Sesame seeds top the list for calcium content. So, take an opportunity to avoid dairy and eat or drink something truly health-promoting! It's worth noting: the first cow's milk on the list is actually #41 (not very good for being such a great source of calcium!!!)

 

The below listings are based on a 100 gram serving of each (the equivalent of 3.53 ounces), listed in a descending order from the highest amount of calcium to the lowest amount of calcium. We ended the table at "Milk, Human" (breast milk) as this is the only natural source of milk-based calcium for humans, which of course is intended for our infancy. The source of the data listed here is the USDA Nutrient Database: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl . Please notify us of any errors.

Source Calcium mg Fat g Cholesterol mg Protein g Magnesium mg Iron mg Fiber g Energy kcal
Total Saturated
Sesame seeds 975.000 49.670 6.957 0.000 17.730 351.000 14.550 11.800 573.000
Tofu, raw, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate 683.000 8.720 1.261 0.000 15.780 58.000 10.470 2.300 145.000
Winged beans, mature seeds, raw 440.000 16.320 2.303 0.000 29.650 179.000 13.440 ? 409.000
Sesame butter, tahini 426.000 53.760 7.529 0.000 17.000 95.000 8.950 9.300 595.000
Soybeans, mature seeds, raw 277.000 19.940 2.884 0.000 36.490 280.000 15.700 9.300 416.000
Nuts, almond butter, plain, without salt added 270.000 59.100 5.602 0.000 15.080 303.000 3.700 3.700 633.000
Nuts, almonds 248.000 50.640 3.881 0.000 21.260 275.000 4.290 11.800 578.000
Beans, white, mature seeds, raw 240.000 0.850 0.219 0.000 23.360 190.000 10.440 15.200 333.000
Flax seed 199.000 34.000 3.196 0.000 19.500 362.000 6.220 27.900 492.000
Soybeans, green, raw 197.000 6.800 0.786 0.000 12.950 65.000 3.550 4.200 147.000
Beans, kidney, california red, mature seeds, raw 195.000 0.250 0.036 0.000 24.370 160.000 9.350 24.900 330.000
Milk, sheep 193.400 7.000 4.603 27.000 5.980 18.360 0.100 0.000 107.808
Turnip greens, raw 190.000 0.300 0.070 0.000 1.500 31.000 1.100 3.200 27.000
Dandelion greens, raw 187.000 0.700 0.170 0.000 2.700 36.000 3.100 3.500 45.000
Beans, french, mature seeds, raw 186.000 2.020 0.221 0.000 18.810 188.000 3.400 25.200 343.000
Nuts, brazilnuts, dried, unblanched 176.000 66.220 16.154 0.000 14.340 225.000 3.400 5.400 656.000
Beans, great northern, mature seeds, raw 175.000 1.140 0.356 0.000 21.860 189.000 5.470 20.200 339.000
Beans, small white, mature seeds, raw 173.000 1.180 0.304 0.000 21.110 183.000 7.730 24.900 336.000
Seaweed, kelp, raw 168.000 0.560 0.247 0.000 1.680 121.000 2.850 1.300 43.000
Beans, yellow, mature seeds, raw 166.000 2.600 0.671 0.000 22.000 222.000 7.010 25.100 345.000
lotus seeds 163.000 1.970 0.330 0.000 15.410 210.000 3.530 ? 332.000
Tofu, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride 162.000 4.460 0.646 0.000 8.040 46.000 1.450 0.400 77.000
Arugula, raw 160.000 0.660 0.086 0.000 2.580 47.000 1.460 1.600 25.000
Beans, navy, mature seeds, raw 155.000 1.280 0.331 0.000 22.330 173.000 6.440 24.400 335.000
Mothbeans, mature seeds, raw 150.000 1.610 0.364 0.000 22.940 381.000 10.850 ? 343.000
Seaweed, wakame, raw 150.000 0.640 0.130 0.000 3.030 107.000 2.180 0.500 45.000
Collards, raw 145.000 0.420 0.055 0.000 2.450 9.000 0.190 3.600 30.000
Figs, dried, uncooked 144.000 1.170 0.234 0.000 3.050 59.000 2.230 12.200 255.000
Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, raw 143.000 0.830 0.120 0.000 23.580 140.000 8.200 24.900 333.000
Mungo beans, mature seeds, raw 138.000 1.640 0.114 0.000 25.210 267.000 7.570 18.300 341.000
Back to the top! Calcium mg Fat g Cholesterol mg Protein g Magnesium mg Iron mg Fiber g Energy kcal
Total Saturated
Parsley, raw 138.000 0.790 0.132 0.000 2.970 50.000 6.200 3.300 36.000
Yardlong beans, mature seeds, raw 138.000 1.310 0.339 0.000 24.330 338.000 8.610 11.000 347.000
Kale, raw 135.000 0.700 0.091 0.000 3.300 34.000 1.700 2.000 50.000
Milk, goat 133.500 4.140 2.667 11.400 3.560 13.970 0.050 0.000 68.813
Mung beans, mature seeds, raw 132.000 1.150 0.348 0.000 23.860 189.000 6.740 16.300 347.000
Beans, kidney, royal red, mature seeds, raw 131.000 0.450 0.065 0.000 25.330 138.000 8.700 24.900 329.000
Beans, pink, mature seeds, raw 130.000 1.130 0.292 0.000 20.960 182.000 6.770 12.700 343.000
Wasabi, root, raw 128.000 0.630 ? 0.000 4.800 69.000 1.030 7.700 109.000
Beans, cranberry (roman), mature seeds, raw 127.000 1.230 0.316 0.000 23.030 156.000 5.000 24.700 335.000
Beans, black, mature seeds, raw 123.000 1.420 0.366 0.000 21.600 171.000 5.020 15.200 341.000
Milk, nonfat 123.000 0.180 0.117 2.000 3.410 11.000 0.040 0.000 35.000
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, raw 121.000 1.130 0.235 0.000 20.880 159.000 5.880 24.400 340.000
Watercress, raw 120.000 0.100 0.027 0.000 2.300 21.000 0.200 1.500 11.000
Milk, producer, fluid, 3.7% milkfat 119.000 3.660 2.278 14.300 3.280 13.400 0.050 0.000 64.172
Sunflower seed 116.000 49.570 5.195 0.000 22.780 354.000 6.770 10.500 570.000
Nuts, hazelnuts or filberts 114.000 60.750 4.464 0.000 14.950 163.000 4.700 9.700 628.000
Tempeh 111.000 10.800 2.220 0.000 18.540 81.000 2.703 ? 193.000
Tofu, soft, prepared with calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride 111.000 3.690 0.533 0.000 6.550 27.000 1.110 0.200 61.000
Tomatoes, sun-dried 110.000 2.970 0.426 0.000 14.110 194.000 9.090 12.300 258.000
Peanuts, spanish, raw 106.000 49.600 7.642 0.000 26.150 188.000 3.910 9.500 570.000
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, raw 105.000 6.040 0.626 0.000 19.300 115.000 6.240 17.400 364.000
Nuts, walnuts, English 104.000 65.210 6.126 0.000 15.230 158.000 2.910 6.700 654.000
Broadbeans (fava beans), mature seeds, raw 103.000 1.530 0.254 0.000 26.120 192.000 6.700 25.000 341.000
Mustard greens, raw 103.000 0.200 0.010 0.000 2.700 32.000 1.460 3.300 26.000
Spinach, raw 99.000 0.350 0.056 0.000 2.860 79.000 2.710 2.700 22.000
Tempeh, cooked 95.600 11.380 3.290   18.190 77.200 2.126 ? 197.000
Currants, zante, dried 86.000 0.270 0.028 0.000 4.080 41.000 3.260 6.800 283.000
Rhubarb, raw 86.000 0.200 0.053 0.000 0.900 12.000 0.220 1.800 21.000
Nuts, macadamia nuts, raw 85.000 75.770 12.061 0.000 7.910 130.000 3.690 8.600 718.000
Winged beans, immature seeds, raw 84.000 0.870 0.238 0.000 6.950 34.000 1.500 ? 49.000
Back to the top! Calcium mg Fat g Cholesterol mg Protein g Magnesium mg Iron mg Fiber g Energy kcal
Total Saturated
Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, raw 83.000 1.060 0.154 0.000 22.530 138.000 6.690 15.200 337.000
Lima beans, large, mature seeds, raw 81.000 0.690 0.161 0.000 21.460 224.000 7.510 19.000 338.000
Okra, raw 81.000 0.100 0.026 0.000 2.000 57.000 0.800 3.200 33.000
Seaweed, irishmoss, raw 72.000 0.160 0.033 0.000 1.510 144.000 8.900 1.300 49.000
Nuts, pecans 70.000 71.970 6.175 0.000 9.170 121.000 2.530 9.600 691.000
Seaweed, laver, raw 70.000 0.280 0.061 0.000 5.810 2.000 1.800 0.300 35.000
Lettuce, looseleaf, raw 68.000 0.300 0.039 0.000 1.300 11.000 1.400 1.900 18.000
Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 67.000 6.700 0.929 0.000 13.090 72.000 2.100 1.100 122.000
Beans, adzuki, mature seeds, raw 66.000 0.530 0.191 0.000 19.870 127.000 4.980 12.700 329.000
Finfish, halibut, Atlantic and Pacific, cooked, dry heat 60.000 2.940 0.417 41.000 26.690 107.000 1.070 0.000 140.000
Quinoa 60.000 5.800 0.590 0.000 13.100 210.000 9.250 5.900 374.000
Beans, pinto, immature seeds, frozen, unprepared 58.000 0.500 0.061 0.000 9.800 60.000 3.000 5.700 170.000
Nuts, walnuts, black 58.000 56.580 3.628 0.000 24.350 202.000 3.070 5.000 607.000
Prickly pears, raw 56.000 0.510 0.067 0.000 0.730 85.000 0.300 3.600 41.000
Egg, whole, cooked, fried 55.000 15.000 4.167 459.000 13.540 11.000 1.560 0.000 199.000
Oats 54.000 6.900 1.217 0.000 16.890 177.000 4.720 10.600 389.000
Seaweed, agar, raw 54.000 0.030 0.006 0.000 0.540 67.000 1.860 0.500 26.000
Beans, pinto, immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 52.000 0.480 0.058 0.000 9.310 54.000 2.710 8.600 162.000
Chard, swiss, raw 51.000 0.200 0.030 0.000 1.800 81.000 1.800 1.600 19.000
Lentils, mature seeds, raw 51.000 0.960 0.135 0.000 28.060 107.000 9.020 30.500 338.000
Prunes, dried, uncooked 51.000 0.520 0.041 0.000 2.610 45.000 2.480 7.100 239.000
Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled 50.000 10.610 3.267 424.000 12.580 10.000 1.190 0.000 155.000
Hyacinth-beans, immature seeds, raw 50.000 0.200 0.088 0.000 2.100 40.000 0.740 ? 46.000
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 49.000 2.590 0.269 0.000 8.860 48.000 2.890 7.600 164.000
Egg, whole, raw, fresh 49.000 10.020 3.100 425.000 12.490 10.000 1.440 0.000 149.000
Raisins, seedless 49.000 0.460 0.150 0.000 3.220 33.000 2.080 4.000 300.000
Beans, snap, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 46.000 0.280 0.064 0.000 1.890 25.000 1.280 3.200 35.000
Lotus root, raw 45.000 0.100 0.030 0.000 2.600 23.000 1.160 4.900 74.000
Nuts, cashew nuts, dry roasted, without salt added 45.000 46.350 9.157 0.000 15.310 260.000 6.000 3.000 574.000
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 43.000 0.900 0.109 0.000 5.250 53.000 1.970 ? 62.000
Back to the top! Calcium mg Fat g Cholesterol mg Protein g Magnesium mg Iron mg Fiber g Energy kcal
Total Saturated
Peas, edible-podded, raw 43.000 0.200 0.039 0.000 2.800 24.000 2.080 2.600 42.000
Pumpkin and squash seed kernels 43.000 45.850 8.674 0.000 24.540 535.000 14.970 3.900 541.000
Burdock root, raw 41.000 0.150 0.025 0.000 1.530 38.000 0.800 3.300 72.000
Chicory roots, raw 41.000 0.200 0.048 0.000 1.400 22.000 0.800 ? 73.000
Peanut butter, chunk style, 41.000 49.940 9.580 0.000 24.050 159.000 1.900 6.600 589.000
Mulberries, raw 39.000 0.390 0.027 0.000 1.440 18.000 1.850 1.700 43.000
Beans, fava, in pod, raw 37.000 0.730 0.118 0.000 7.920 33.000 1.550 ? 88.000
Beans, snap, green, raw 37.000 0.120 0.026 0.000 1.820 25.000 1.040 3.400 31.000
Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw 36.000 0.200 0.026 0.000 1.620 6.000 1.100 1.700 14.000
Figs, raw 35.000 0.300 0.060 0.000 0.750 17.000 0.370 3.300 74.000
Lima beans, immature seeds, raw 34.000 0.860 0.198 0.000 6.840 58.000 3.140 4.900 113.000
Milk, human 32.200 4.380 2.009 13.900 1.030 3.400 0.030 0.000 69.563

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