Where do vegans get their calcium?
If you’ve been vegan for long enough, you most likely have been asked this question multiple times. It’s true that you can get sufficient amounts of calcium (easily) on a vegan diet. However, the dairy industry have succeeded in spreading the false message that humans need dairy products for their calcium. This, of course, is not true. There are plenty of plant based foods that will allow you to get sufficient amounts of calcium and often they are better for you than obtaining the calcium from dairy products.
Unlike milk, plant based sources contain vitamins C and K, alongside the minerals potassium and magnesium. All of which are important for healthy bone growth. Dairy products also contain saturated fats, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, lactose sugar and frequent traces of contamination (All of which, many people try to avoid).
The key to having healthy, strong bones is not actually large amounts of calcium intake, but instead, reducing the amount of calcium lost in our bones. This can be done in a number of different ways:
The more protein we eat, the more calcium is lost in our urine. If we eat animal proteins, our body begins to release more calcium from our bones and muscles. However, this can be prevented. This is done by simply eating plant based protein. The more sodium and caffeine we obtain in our diets, the more calcium is lost through our urine. The same goes for smoking.
Here are just a few of some delicious plant based sources of calcium:
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Almond Butter
- Raw Fennel
- Sesame Seeds
- Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potato
- Chick Peas
Of course, regular exercise contributes to healthy bone development as well a diet which does not exceed protein requirements. For more information, I would recommend visiting http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones .
-The Vegan Lily