It’s one of those questions that you get asked often when you eat a plant-based diet, and you look pretty bad when you don’t know the answer right off hand. Especially when you started eating this way for health. Well, this post is here to help you nail your response. Being able to articulate why plant food is actually a better source of calcium helps others start down their journey to health.
Animal products are not an ideal source of calcium because they also contain saturated fat, and cholesterol. You can get plenty of calcium from plant-based sources that provide antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Plants are a better source when you take your overall health into consideration.
I think the calcium issue really comes down to two main points. The first is that plant food does have calcium, plenty of calcium. In fact, people on plant-based diets have on average the same bone density of those eating the standard American diet. The second important factor is that calcium from plant foods come with many other beneficial nutrients, including lots of fiber which 97% of Americans are deficient in.
Plant calcium is better for your overall health. Animal calcium comes with a lot of risks, like saturated fat and cholesterol. Plant sources are quite the opposite. They come with health benefits. Dark leafy greens are usually the best sources of calcium in the plant world. Let’s take kale for example; It’s high in calcium, as well as iron, fiber, and vitamin K. That’s a win-win!
I prefer to get my nutrients straight from the source(plants) because I feel they are easier for my body to digest. However, many vegan products are now fortified with calcium. If you are really worried about getting enough you can choose almond milk, tofu, orange juice, or whatever else that has been fortified with calcium. Try introducing more calcium-rich foods into your diet. Below is a list of vegan friendly food that are high in calcium.
These are all great sources of calcium. They are also highly nutritious and recommended to be a part of your diet each day.
- collard greens
- turnip greens
- mustard greens
- beet greens
These veggies are all rich in calcium. You will notice that many of them are common veggies that you are already eating quite often.
- butternut squash
- bok choy
- brussel sprouts
- sweet potato
NUTS, SEEDS, AND BEANS
You can get a lot of calcium from nuts and seeds in the form of nut butters and tahini. Soy is also a great way to get your calcium.
- sesame seeds
- soy beans
These fruits make great snacks so they are easy to incorporate into your diet.