How to Get Enough Calcium on a Plant-based Diet

Scroll down to find three plant-based calcium rich recipes, as well as an infographic displaying plant-foods with a good amount of calcium in them.

Hey guys, how are you going? I wanted to post about this today as I have been studying nutrition closely, especially during my pregnancy. If the mother is not consuming adequate nutrition during pregnancy, the body takes from her 'stores' and transfers nutrition to the baby that way. Generally, the mother's' body will provide the baby with everything it needs to grow. For example, the body can take calcium from the mothers' bones instead of her bloodstream, although this is not ideal.

I heard a good quote yesterday about aiming to avoid depletion; if not, you can liken your body to a credit card, where you need to pay back the loans plus interest! You can rest assured baby will be ok, but what about you? You want to be in optimal condition to care for your baby. So let's not rely on the credit card, and instead, use our savings.

Credit card = your body depleting your body of nutrients from your stores

Savings = your body using the nutrients supplied in your blood from your daily diet.

Without further ado, I will talk about getting enough calcium on a plant-based diet — concerning a standard adult who needs about 1000mg per day.

A well-planned plant-based diet will provide plenty of calcium, however sardines and eggs are also an excellent source if you are open to some animal products. Eggs have a lot of vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption. If not, ensure you're getting some daily sunlight on your skin. Vitamin D and calcium work in synergy together.

Calcium is a mineral that's necessary for good bone and teeth health. It also plays a role in muscle function, nerve signalling, and heart health.

Plant-based nutrition is a little more complicated than the regular meat and dairy nutrition to achieve your calcium intake for the day. It is well worth understanding though, as we know that plant-based diets can prevent catastrophic health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive decline and certain cancers and almost every other health problem known to humankind. Put simply— plants are life.

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for calcium is set at 1,000 mg per day for most adults.

Below is an infographic I have provided so you can get a visual of how many mg's of calcium certain plant foods contain.

The basic principles to include your RDI of calcium is to:

  • Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

  • Search for calcium-enriched unsweetened nut milks and organic non-GMO tofu's as extra 'insurance' — enriched products do make life easier!

  • Eat whole foods, minimally processed.

  • Enter your food into the app "cronometer" for a few days, so you gather a base understanding of what foods provide which nutrients. Once you 'get it', let it go — you don't need to track your food that pedantically unless you're a professional athlete. Remember, food should be fun!

  • Consider a calcium and vitamin D supplement made from algae.

Here are three morning recipes that provide a good amount

of calcium to help you towards your RDI.

Green Grapefuit Smoothie

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled

  • 1 banana

  • 1 cup calcium enriched almond milk unsweetened

  • 1 T chia seeds

  • 1 T chopped walnuts

  • 1-2 cups spinach

  • optional: cinnamon, turmeric

Magic Method: Blend

Oat Breakfast Bowl

  • · 3/4 cup oats

  • · 20 almonds

  • · 1 T chia seeds

  • · 1 T flaxseed, milled

  • · ¾ cup frozen berries

  • · 3/4 cup calcium enriched soy milk

Magic Method: Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Heat gently for 5/8 minutes until creamy and cooked.

Tofu Scramble

  • 225g calcium set firm tofu

  • 1/4 cup black beans

  • 1 Tsp curry powder

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 cup kale and any other greens

  • ½ cup oyster mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • sea salt and pepper

Magic Method: Sauté the vegetables in olive oil. Crumble the tofu between your fingers and add the fry pan with the beans. Heat, season, enjoy!

Let me know if you have any questions or would like to add your two cents (sense?) as well.


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