what is Calcium and how Does a Vegan get it?

These Questions or excuses keep coming up by people who don’t follow a plant based lifestyle.  So I’m here to answer them.

First,

What is Calcium?

Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol “Ca”  Calcium is needed by all living organisms, including humans, it is used in the body to build and maintain strong bones.  it also contributes to the healthy communication between the brain and parts of the body.

Calcium regulates muscle contraction, including the heartbeat. It also plays a key role in normal blood coagulation (clotting).
 
How much calcium should I consume each day?

According to the Institute of Medicine (IoM), we should consume calcium daily at the following amounts:

  • age 0 to 6 months 200 mg per day
  • age 7 to 12 months 260 mg per day
  • age 1 to 3 years 700 mg per day
  • age 4 to 8 years 1000 mg per day
  • age 9 to 18 years 1300 mg per day
  • age 19 to 50 years 1000 mg per day
  • breastfeeding or pregnant teenager 1000 mg per day
  • breastfeeding or pregnant adult 1000 mg per day
  • age 51 to 70 years (male) 1000 mg per day
  • age 51 to 70 years (female) 1200 mg per day
  • age 71+ years 1200 mg per day

Which foods are rich in calcium

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Seaweeds, such as kelp, hijiki and wakame
  • Nuts and seeds, including pistachio, sesame, almonds, hazelnuts
  • Beans
  • Figs
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Many fortified breakfast cereals
  • Many fortified drinks, including soy milk and a variety of fruit juices
  • Crushed eggshells – they can be ground into a powder and added to foods and/or drinks

Milk which is pushed by the government for “THE” source of Calcium has about 300mg of Calcium.

Well any of the plant based milks have exactly the same amount without the animal proteins.

Now where do vegans get their calcium if they don’t drink “fake” milk?

40 Vegan Sources of Calcium

Vegetables (per cup)

Bok choy (cooked) – 330 mg
Kale – 180mg
Bean sprouts – 320 mg
Spinach (cooked) – 250 mg
Collard greens (cooked) – 260 mg
Mustard greens (cooked) – 100 mg
Turnip greens (cooked) – 200 mg
Swiss chard (cooked) – 100 mg
Seaweed (Wakame) – 120mg
Okra – 130 mg
Broccoli – 45 mg
Fennel – 45 mg
Artichoke – 55 mg
Celery – 40 mg
Leeks – 55 mg

Nuts, nut butters and seeds

Almonds (1/4 cup) – 95 mg
Brazil nuts (1/4 cup) – 55 mg
Hazelnuts (1/4 cup) – 55 mg
Almond butter (1 tbsp) – 43 mg
Sesame seeds (1 tbsp) – 63 mg
Tahini (1 tbsp) – 65 mg

Grains

Cereals (calcium fortified, ½ cup) – 250 to 500 mg
Amaranth (cooked, ½ cup) – 135 mg
Brown rice (cooked, 1 cup) – 50 mg
Quinoa (cooked, 1 cup) – 80 mg

Legumes and beans

Chickpeas (cooked, 1 cup) – 80 mg
Pinto beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 75 mg
Soy beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 200 mg
Tofu (soft or firm, 4 oz) – 120 – 400mg
Tempeh (1 cup) – 150 mg
Navy beans (1 cup) – 110 mg
White beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 140 mg

Fruit (per cup)

Figs (dried) – 300 mg
Apricots (dried) – 75mg
Kiwi – 60mg
Rhubarb (cooked) – 350 mg
Orange – 70 mg
Prunes – 75 mg
Blackberries – 40 mg

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp) – 135 mg

http://www.drlisawatson.com/40-vegan-calcium-sources

As you can see, A Vegan or person who lives a plant based lifestyle will have healthy bones and teeth.

In just 3-4 servings of certain foods, you will get more then enough calcium in a day.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. When I first went vegan I worried about getting enough calcium. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply

  2. Great breakdown! I’ve been eating a ton of Bok Choy lately and loving it!

    Reply

  3. hi you have a cool weblog. I wanna say thanks for posting this cool posts with us. Keep up good work.

    Reply

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