Calcium is a mineral that is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and is an important part of keeping the brain and nervous system healthy. Many people have trouble consuming the daily recommended amount of this substance, especially those who follow strict vegetarian or vegan diets. Fortunately, many food sources contain calcium, including vegetables. Some of the best-known vegetables with calcium include leafy greens like spinach and collards, as well as soy, mung, and green beans.
Although most vegetables bear a certain amount of calcium, some contain more than others. Leafy greens generally rate highly in the list of vegetables with calcium. One cup (237 ml) of chopped, cooked collards, for instance, contains about 357 mg of calcium, while one cup (237 ml) of raw kale can contain up to 137 mg. Leafy greens are not the only vegetables that bear a high amount of calcium. A single serving of okra can result in 177 mg of calcium consumption, while adding one garlic clove to a meal can add up to 5 mg.
High levels of this mineral can also be found in parsnips and turnips, French beans and Chinese broccoli, bok choy and Swiss chard. More unusual vegetables with calcium include spirulina, a type of freshwater algae, dandelion greens, lemon grass, and amaranth leaves. Although these may seem odd to some, many of these vegetables are high in calcium and can easily be tossed into a salad or made into a vegetable wrap.
For those with a finicky palate, other, more familiar types of vegetables with calcium include sweet and hot peppers, pickles, potatoes, and cabbage. Diners with more sophisticated palates may pick vegetables such as asparagus, eggplant, and squash, which also contain this mineral. Although these varieties bear less calcium than other types, they are generally easy to find and fit into a number of recipes.
Despite the fact that fresh, raw produce is usually a better option, some types of vegetables may still contain calcium even when cooked or canned. For instance, a serving of boiled pumpkin can still bear up to 37 mg of calcium, while baked winter squash can contain 45 mg. A single serving of canned beets may still generally provide about 44 mg, and canned carrots can retain 37 mg per serving. Some condiments that contain vegetables, such as pickle relish and catsup, may also bear a small amount of calcium.