Post in collaboration with iHerb. All opinions are, as always, my own.
Hi guys! As you may know already, I recently finished my degree in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition which means that I’m finally knowledgeable to write about a vast array of topics I’ve always wanted to focus on. Nutrition is a big interest of mine, and I’m sure that many of you have questions you’ve always wanted to ask, so don’t hesitate and please let me know which other topics you’d like to see covered on here.
Plant-based nutrition is a big one, for sure. Given that many plant sources of nutrients aren’t as high in nutrients as their animal-based counterparts, I can see how it could turn out to be a worry for many people following these diets. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or even complicated to obtain these minerals or vitamins when one’s eating a fully vegan diet: it can be easy enough once that you have the information and can look at foods in a different way.
Take calcium, for example. This mineral is especially relevant when it comes to bone health, among others. It’s important for everyone, vegans and omnivores alike, to meet the
recommended intake of 1000 mg/day for individuals aged 19 to 50 years and 1200 mg/day for those over the age of 50, especially women. Research seems to indicate that an inadequate consumption of calcium may result in higher risk of fracture. Therefore, we can all agree that it’s important to have an adequate daily intake. And which calcium-rich foods come to your mind whenever you see that word?
You’re probably thinking about milk, cheese and many other dairy products, which are, yes, very high in this mineral.
Plant sources aren’t as rich in calcium as dairy products, but that’s not to mean one should resign and go get a supplement from the get go. Pills and multivitamins can be helpful in many cases (best to check with a healthcare provider!), but there are ways to obtain calcium from foods and maximize its bioavailability and absorption.
In this post, I’m going to show you some calcium-rich plant sources that you might have never seen in that light, and giving you 3 recipes for you to try if you’re struggling to introduce calcium in your diet. Or if you’re, really really craving some really good falafel 😉
Most of the ingredients featured in this post, I got through iHerb, which if you read often, you’ll know it’s a favourite of mine when it comes to buying specialty products which aren’t as easily available in Europe. They carry more than 30.000 natural products which can be shipped to 180 countries. As far as dealing with the trouble from customs and whatnot, iHerb makes it easier for you when ordering from Spain, since you can prepay customs and taxes (which is not expensive at all), and your parcel will make it through quickly and stress-free. As an avid online shopper, that’s super important for me, especially when ordering from outside Europe. In case troubles do arise, they count on a custom service team which is available in 10 languages 24/7. Plus, all parcels are shipped from climate-controlled warehouses to make sure that they arrive to your house in top-notch condition. As I said, I cannot complain, as it’s overall a really pleasant experience!
If you click on each product, it will take you to the page so you can get your hands on it if you like the sound of it!
Good quality spices make all the difference, especially when making plant-based dishes and you need an extra oomph. This ground cumin is really aromatic and works super well in stews, for example!
Simply Organic, Garlic Powder
Again, using great quality ground garlic really adds an extra touch to your dishes. It’s such a versatile ingredient too!
Simply Organic, Madagascar Vanilla
If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you’ll know by now that this is my favourite vanilla extract EVER. Super strong and aromatic, so a little goes a long way and the bottle lasts forever, adding a magical touch to your baked goodies!
I wasn’t expecting to like this bread mix as much as I did, to be honest! I’m not usually a fan of gluten free breads but this one was fantastic, with a lovely almond flavour which went so well with all kinds of toppings. You can make it vegan by subbing each egg with a mix of: 1 tablespoon ground flax, 1 teaspoon soy lecithin, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoons water!
Almonds are a great source of calcium (one of the richest nuts in this mineral, with each once providing 8% of the recommended daily intake!), so this bread contributes to helping you reach your nutritional goals. Plus you can pair it with some almond butter for some extra nutrients!
Rapunzel, Organic Cocoa Powder
Risking sounding like a broken record but yes, using a higher quality cacao can take your brownies to a whole new level of chocolaty goodness. This one adds a new layer of dimension to these already delish brownies!
Wholesome, Organic Molasses, Unsulphured
Molasses are a great source of calcium, since a tablespoon contains 8% of the recommended daily intake. They’re great to sweeten dessert, since it’s a way to add both extra calcium and magnesium, and work well when paired with chocolate, like in this case, and in gingerbread too!
I loved using this bottle by Wholesome since it’s virtually fuss-free and easier than spooning them out of a jar!
Simply Organic, Organic Smoked Paprika
Another wonderful spice to take your dishes to a whole new level! Being Spanish, you know I appreciate really good paprika and this is it.
Eden Foods, Organic, Pumpkin Seeds, Dry Roasted
Seeds, in general, are really high in all potassium, magnesium and yes, calcium! 100g of pumpkin seeds provides you with 55mg of calcium, and they’re so easy to pair with salads, stews and in this case, as a filling of falafel! You will go through this bag in seconds, as they’re crunchy, delicious, and really addictive!
Dastony, 100% Organic, Sesame Tahini
When it comes to seeds being high in calcium, one cannot deny that sesame seeds are the star with a whooping 975mg per 100g! Tahini is, therefore, one of the most popular options to go for when one needs to add calcium to their diet. This version by dastony is smooth, mild and not bitter at all. I could seriously eat it all the time!
I loooove garbanzo beans! They’re for sure one of my favourite additions to all kinds of plant-based meals. They’re rich in calcium and quality protein, and they can be added to salads, stews, hummus and delicious falafel. What’s not to love?
Eden Foods, Organic, Kidney Beans
Another bean which is jam-packed with calcium and healthy protein! Really versatile too, and a wonderful base for all kinds of stews, like this one with veggies and spice. So comforting now that autumn’s around the corner!
MaraNatha, Raw Almond Butter, Creamy
Another wonderful way to have almonds: creamy, luscious almond butter! This version is all natural, with none of the not ideal preservatives added, yet every bit as delicious!
Now that you know which foods are higher in calcium, you know how to incorporate them into your diet! These three following recipes are great to put your knowledge to good use, but you can mix and match to come up with other combinations which are more up your alley!
Which recipe are you guys most looking forward to trying? Let me know in the comments!
In case you want to place an order to try out some of the products, let me tell you that you can get a discount off your order whether you’re a new or returning customer by clicking HERE! Happy shopping!