Vegan’s Guide to Calcium: Everything You Need to Know

For the longest time that we can remember, people around us told us that drinking milk is mandatory if we want strong bones. And, for the longest time, we assumed this to be true. We even saw all the commercials that got us further to believe in the importance of milk and other dairy products. In fact, for the longest time thanks to all the publicity, we all assumed that milk was the only source of calcium. This thought, however, started to change once the concept of veganism became predominant. 

Most people who followed a vegan diet were asked what their vegan source of calcium is, and it is only then that people understood that there are other vegan foods that are rich calcium sources that prove to be more effective and cruelty-free. What most dairy industries want you to believe is that consumption of milk helps strengthen bones, but the fact is that the debate for this is still very much ongoing. 

Calcium, in general, is a vitamin that is needed not just to give you strong bones and muscles, but it is also crucial for other body functions such as helping in the clotting of blood and the dilation of blood vessels. It is true that during the initial years, the requirement of calcium is high, but the reality is that over the years, this too decreases. In fact, consuming animal-based calcium becomes harder to break down and absorb in later years. 

Irrespective of all these findings, it is true that since our body can’t produce calcium internally, it is important to have an intake of it through our diets. The one thought that we need to change, however, is that milk is the only source for it. For all those who follow veganism and opt for a more healthy lifestyle, here are some rich vegan sources of calcium.

Green leafy veggies: Lately a lot of calcium-rich veggies have flooded the markets and are used in almost every salad. Veggies such as kale among others are a rich source of calcium

Plant-based milk: If you look extensively most markets also have options like soy, almond and cashew milk which provide 30% of your calcium requirements.

Two cups of white beans provide 382 mg of calcium and iron as well. Other plan based items such as ragi, fennel seeds, chia seeds, oats, almond butter, okra (ladyfingers), and fortified orange juice also carries large volumes of calcium in them.  It is an understood fact that calcium intake is crucial to ensure that the body functions properly. However, being privy to the belief that the only beneficial source of calcium is milk, is a gross understatement. 

A carefully planned plant-based diet can also provide to you the needed amounts of calcium that is easier to absorb and digest by the human body. The benefits of sticking to plant-based calcium sources are that they help in providing other essential minerals and vitamins as well. 

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