10 Non-Dairy Foods That Are Full Of Calcium

“How do you manage for calcium with no milk products?” asked several of my friends when I was following a three week vegan cleansing diet.

The question surprised me. I have never liked milk, don’t digest it well, and didn’t miss drinking it at all during my vegan phase.

That doesn’t mean I have to ingest a large calcium supplement the size of a horse pill in order to take in enough calcium. There are plenty of milk-free ways to get adequate calcium in your diet.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, according to the National Institutes of Health. 99 percent of the body’s calcium is stored in bones and teeth for structural support.

To make sure we get enough of it, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has developed Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for calcium: an average adult needs 1,000 mg–1,300 mg of calcium daily. This number is slightly higher for lactating and pregnant women.

You probably think of Chinese cabbage, collard greens, maybe almonds, in terms of non-dairy sources of calcium, but there are many more. Here are just 10, for starters:

Black Eyed Peas: Not only are black eyed peas a good source of calcium, these little beans also contain potassium, folate and other nutrients.

First Photo: thinkstock; second photo: Maddog 20/20

Broccoli: Steam broccoli for a high-calcium side dish or add it raw to salads for an extra boost.

Photo Credit: whologwhy/flickr

Cereals: Fortified ready-to-eat cereals can provide from 236 to 1043 mg of calcium. (But check the box to avoid the sugary ones.)

Photo Credit: Salvation Army Saskatoon Community Centre/flickr

Molasses: One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses offers 3.5 mg of iron, 172 mg of calcium and 47 calories. Use molasses instead of syrup or sugar to increase your calcium and iron intake. Molasses contains even more calcium than milk.

Photo Credit: technicool/flickr

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is considered a heart-healthy way to start your day, and it also provides a significant amount of calcium. Just one packet of instant oatmeal provides about 100 mg.

Photo Credit: tdpac520/flickr

Orange Juice: Many fruits contain calcium, including oranges. Enjoy a glass of orange juice with your breakfast and boost your store of calcium.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

Salmon: Pink salmon offers 181 mg of calcium per three ounces. For the most sustainable salmon option, choose wild Alaskan salmon, which is both free of contaminants and fished sustainably.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

Sardines: These little fish already score points for having low levels of contaminants and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. But sardines also give you 325 mg of calcium per 3 ounces.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

Soy Milk: Calcium-fortified soy milk has 368 mg of calcium per cup.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

Tofu: One half cup of firm tofu contains 253 mg of calcium and only 88 calories.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

As always, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of foods in your diet. Bon appetit!

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Photo Credit: thinkstock

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Narendranath Murthy

Great. Thanks for the information.

Andrea Johnson
Andrea Johnson1 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Eva P.
Eva P.2 years ago

Thanks, vegan would quite possibly avoid fish though. Perhaps I did not get the connection..

Jennifer C.
Past Member 2 years ago


Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Franck Rio
Franck R.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Caili W.
Caili W.2 years ago

Woops.... *eat regularly, include...

Caili W.
Caili W.2 years ago

I eat three on this list, but don't have trouble getting enough calcium in my diet. The organic almond and coconut milks I drink are also higher in calcium than cow's milk. Other vegan sources of calcium that I eat include regularly green leafy vegetables, raw fennel, amaranth, beans (navy, white, great northern, etc.), oranges, apricots, black berries, dates, chickpeas, sesame seeds, tahini, nuts (almonds, peanuts, brazil nuts, walnuts) and nut butters, chia seeds, flax seeds, dill, basil, etc.

Spices that are a good source of calcium include: celery seeds, dill (seeds & weed), poppy seeds, fennel, cumin, coriander, caraway, anise, yellow mustard, peppermint, spearmint, fenugreek, basil and parsley. I regularly use these spices in my cooking, boosting my intake of calcium and other minerals.

Linda L.
Linda L.2 years ago

Wish it wasn't strung out over 10 pages.

Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants2 years ago

What about ants?