Cracking open a can doesn’t typically make you think of calcium for your bones, but surprisingly, beans and lentils can have a good amount of it. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), winged beans have 244 milligrams of calcium in a cup. White beans also have an impressive amount coming in at 161 milligrams per cup (per USDA). Whipping up a tasty chili with them can get you pretty far into meeting your daily requirements.
Not to be left behind by their bean cousins, lentils provide a boost in the calcium department. While it’s less impressive, lentils can give you 37 milligrams of calcium per cup. They are also easy to slip into different meals. For example, substitute some beef with lentils when making your tacos. You can also try throwing them into your pasta sauce on spaghetti night. Given their consistency, they can easily blend in with ground beef.
Canned beans and lentils can get you far when meeting your daily calcium goals, but they’re also an excellent addition to a healthy diet. According to My Plate, they are an ideal plant protein and full of folate, potassium, zinc, and iron. A 2017 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences states that beans and lentils are a great source of polyphenol, which plays a role in preventing degenerative diseases. The research also showed that they can have anti-diabetic and anti-carcinogenic properties. Your body will thank you for adding a can of beans to your meal tonight!