Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. 99% of this calcium is stored in bones, where it also has an important structural function. Calcium is also needed for muscle function, clotting, nerve conduction among other functions. 

Because some research links a high calcium intake to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, I would advise against very high intakes. For healthy (non-pregnant/non-lactating) adults I think that between 700 & 1000mg of calcium* per day is a good target.
*Mostly from highly absorbable sources of calcium; see below for examples.  
However, postmenopausal women and older men should speak to their general practitioner to discuss the possible need for greater amounts due to an increased risk of osteoporosis.   

There is evidence indicating that vegans tend to not consume enough calcium1.  

Calcium from many plants is often not well-absorbed compared to animal-based sources; this is because it can be bound to other compounds such as oxalates and phytic acid. Spinach for instance is rich in calcium, but only 5% of this is bioavailable2.  But foods fortified with calcium such as calcium set tofu, fortified juices, soy milk/yoghurts are rich in bioavailable calcium. The bioavailability of calcium in certain low oxalate greens such as kale, bok choy and mustard greens is comparable to that found in milk3.   

Some examples foods that contain a good amount of bioavailable calcium:

White & brown breads/flours2 slices >200mg
Ready Brek 30g402mg
Calcium-set tofu 100g>300mg
Fortified juices 1 cup >300mg
Fortified plant milks/yogurts1 cup>200mg
Tahini 2 tbsp128mg
Chia seeds 2 tbsp126mg
Kale (cooked)½ cup89mg
Tempeh ½ cup92mg
Broccoli (cooked)1 cup 80mg

For more information on good (and bad) animal-free sources of calcium see this blog.

Many vegan multivitamins contain some calcium which can meaningfully contribute towards an overall daily intake.

It’s important to note that not all low-oxalate greens are particularly good sources of calcium. Also, high-oxalate greens such as (spinach, chard, beet greens) are poor sources of calcium because oxalate can bind to calcium rendering it much less bioavailable. High-oxalate foods are not unhealthy, but individuals with a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones may need to limit their consumption.  


1. Davey, G.K., Spencer, E.A., Appleby, P.N., Allen, N.E., Knox, K.H. and Key, T.J., 2003. EPIC–Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 883 meat-eaters and 31 546 non meat-eaters in the UK. Public health nutrition, 6(3), pp.259-268.
2. Heaney, R.P., Weaver, C.M. and Recker, R.R., 1988. Calcium absorbability from spinach. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 47(4), pp.707-709.
3. Heaney, R.P. and Weaver, C.M., 1990. Calcium absorption from kale. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 51(4), pp.656-657.

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