Collard Greens – deriving its name from the corrupted form of the word “colewort” or cabbage plant. Cultivated for its thick edible, yet slightly bitter leaves, Collard Greens are available year-round. However, they have the best taste during colder months. Picking the leaves should be done just before they are fully grown. One cup will provide 357 mg. of calcium.
Turnip Greens – are leaves of the turnip or white turnip likely due to its white bulbous taproot. While the taproot is used in a variety of ways, the leaves are typically used as a side dish, with the smaller leaves being preferred. However, the bitterness of the larger leaves is reduced by discarding the initial water used in boiling with fresh water. One cup yields 249 mg. of calcium.
Kale or borecole – the name borecole is commonly thought to originate from the Dutch “boerenkool” which translates to “farmer’s cabbage”. Typically raised from seed, most Kale is either annuals or biennials and resembles cabbage in appearance. To maintain higher levels of its nutrients, Kale is better steamed or microwaved rather than boiled, with one cup providing 179 mg. of calcium.
Broccoli – the plural form of the Italian broccolo, meaning “the flowering top of a cabbage”. Broccoli is most nutritious when eaten raw, but may be boiled or steamed. There are three common varieties of broccoli. Calabrese broccoli which is the most familiar, Sprouting broccoli and Purple cauliflower which is a type of broccoli that sometimes has a purple shade at the tips of the flower buds. Consuming one cup will provide 177 mg. of calcium.
Mustard greens – also known as green mustard cabbage, has the distinct flavor of horseradish-mustard. Classified in the species Brassica juncea, it has a more poignant taste than the closely related greens of the Brassica oleracea greens such as the collard greens and kale. Often mustard greens are mixed with the other more mild greens for various salads and a one cup serving provides 104 mg. of calcium.
Here are just five plant based natural sources of calcium among many other nutrients and benefits. Interestingly, each of these is classified in the same cultivar group of the species Brassica, or basically related to the cabbage family. As such, all share many additional positive properties including being excellent sources of vitamin C as well as amounts of glutamine, an amino acid having anti-inflammatory benefits. The Recommended Dietary Allowance of the calcium intake for an adult is 800 mg. Here in these five healthy vegetables is provided 1066 mg. of calcium.