Friday, February 22, 2013

What About Calcium?

"How will you get enough calcium on a vegan diet?" I have already been asked this question and the answer is easy. Calcium is found in a wide variety of foods. Adults need approximately 1000 milligrams of calcium per day. Here is a list of some of the best vegan sources:


40 Vegan Calcium Sources

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


Calcium in Milk Substitutes
Beverage
1 cup
Calcium
Milligrams
Soy milk, fortified
200.0 to 368.0
Soy milk, unfortified
93.0
Rice milk, Fortified
250 to 300
Almond, Fortified
200 to 300
Hazelnut, Fortified
300
Hempmilk
460


Many other factors can contribute to the amount of calcium the body absorbs. Vitamins D and K help absorb calcium. It is also important to note that calcium can be significantly depleted through the consumption of animal protein, salt, caffeine, refined sugar, nicotine, prescription drugs, etc.

And to give you even more information... :)

"The real cause of osteoporosis in this country is not insufficient calcium intake, it's excessive excretion of calcium in the urine. Even calcium supplementation is often not enough to make up for the increased calcium excretion. Vegetarians, in contrast, excrete much less calcium, and this is why they have very low rates of osteoporosis even though their dietary intake of calcium is lower than those on a meat-eating diet," (Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, 301). http://www.vegparadise.com/calcium.html

"Published data clearly links increased urinary excretion of calcium with animal-protein intake but not with vegetable-protein intake. Plant foods, though some may be high in protein, are not acid-forming. Animal-protein ingestion results in a heavy acid load in the blood. This sets off a series of reactions whereby calcium is released from the bones to help neutralize the acid. The sulfur-based amino acids in animal products contribute significantly to urinary acid production and the resulting calcium loss. The Nurses Health Study found that women who consumed 95 grams of protein a day had a 22% greater risk of forearm fracture than those who consumed less than 68 grams," (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Eat To Live, 86). http://www.vegparadise.com/calcium.html

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