Are you getting enough?
Calcium, that is.
As a vegan, I am constantly asked what I eat and where I get key nutrients such as protein
We all know that calcium is essential for key bodily functions such as building and maintaining
healthy bones and teeth but this mineral is also utilized by the body to:
*help clot blood
*aid nerve conduction
*support muscle contraction
*support cell membrane function
So getting enough of this vital mineral is very important to our health.
Getting sufficient calcium on a plant-based or vegan diet is quite easy if you know which
foods supply this vital nutrient.
Thanks to fortification, it is easier than ever for vegan to meet our calcium requirements.
Some plant-based food sources for calcium to choose from include:
*Soy milk, nut milks, and rice milks are often fortified with calcium–just make sure the product
is vegan friendly and contains a good amount of calcium.
*Nuts such as hazelnuts and almonds are also a good source of calcium.
*Leafy green veggies and other vegetables such as bok choy, collard greens, turnip greens,
and okra are also rich in calcium.
You may not realize this but a lot of the calcium leaves our food during the cooking process and goes
into the water so when preparing the vegetables, try not to boil them unless you drink the water.
Planning is Key to Meeting Calcium Needs
If you’ve been a vegan for a while, you may already have the hang of this.
If not, you may want to plan some of your meals out in advance until you get the hang of it.
Even if you’ve been a vegan for a while, it’s a good idea to periodically take a step back and plan a
You can use this plan build your shopping list to make sure that you buy the calcium-rich foods
you need to meet your nutritional requirements.
Not only will this help insure that you get the nutrients you need, but it helps build variety because
you can plan meals around new ingredients.
Keep a Food Journal
Besides planning meals, you can also keep a food journal.
In it, keep track of what you calcium-rich food you ate, how you prepared it, whether or not you
like it, and if you would change anything.
Here’s a sample page from my calcium journal entries in a typical day which shows how I met my needs:
10 Brazil Nuts – 53 mg
10 Almonds – 30 mg
1 tablespoon Tahini – 66 mg
6 dried Figs – 160 mg
6 dried Apricots – 32 mg
6 raw Broccoli florets – 45 mg
1 cup Bok Choy – 65 mg
1 inch slice firm Tofu – 832 mg
Since I don’t eat tofu daily–which is a huge source of calcium–I make up for that with more of
the other significant sources such as fortified almond milk and bean sprouts.
It’s also a good way to see if you are getting the enough of the all of the nutrients you need.
A Picture is Worth a Thousands Words
You maybe surprised by the wide variety of foods which provide calcium.
Use the infographic below to learn which foods are significant sources of calcium and plan to
include them in your diet on a regular basis.