TL:DR - Calcium is a mineral found in foods. It is responsible for loads of important things, such as strengthening bones and teeth, regulating muscle function, regulating heart function and more. So we asked our vegan writer to answer the question "How to get calcium as a vegan". Here's what we learned.
You can find calcium in foods like cheese, yoghurt, milk and sardines. But, if you are a vegan looking to get more calcium than you are not going to be looking at these animal products.
Thankfully, there are vegan sources of calcium. And they’re good sources too.
Here are a few:
Fact drop for when someone asks “how do you get calcium as a vegan?”
You can reply with this:
“Kale has around 250 milligrams (mg) of calcium per 100 g, which is comparatively higher than whole milk's 110 mg per 100 g.”
That’s actually pretty impressive.
Kale might not be your first choice of leafy green, it can be a little bitter. However, get creative with your kale and you could learn to love it!
You can blend kale up into smoothies, soups and juices. Or, you can make kale crisps or eat it shredded on a salad.
When you initially think of calcium, your brain probably goes to yogurt, milk and dairy. However, there are plenty of fruits that are high in this mineral.
Here are a few:
If you don’t pay attention to eating a well balanced, healthy diet, then you might become deficient in calcium. As a vegan, you might find that you aren’t getting calcium as easy as if you were eating dairy products regularly.
This isn’t to say that all vegans will have a calcium deficiency. However, it is something to be aware of when planning your meals.
As a minimum, make sure you are eating leafy greens, tofu, pulses and other calcium rich foods.
If you are really struggling to get calcium in your diet, or if you have been told by a health professional that you are deficient in it, then you can buy a supplement.
Just make sure the calcium supplement you are taking is vegan. Some brands use animal products in the capsules, or the supplement itself.
If you have a deficiency in calcium then you might notice certain symptoms. These include:
Meals should be carefully planned to make sure you are getting enough iron, protein, calcium and other minerals to keep your body and mind strong.
As a vegan, lots of products are off limits. However, there are still some delicious and guilt free ways to stay healthy.
Here are a day's worth of meals and snacks to give your calcium levels a boost.
50 g porridge with oat milk and a banana
(approx 150 mg calcium)
Kale crisps (approx 150 mg calcium)
Vegan chilli with lentils and beans (approx 200 mg calcium)
Green juice (40-80 mg calcium)
Stir fry packed with tofu and veggies (approx 350 mg calcium)
Dairy free ice cream
As you can see, it can be easy to get calcium as a vegan. You just might need to plan your food a little and focus on calcium rich foods as a base for your meals.
If you do need a supplement, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one. Just check the ingredients to see that there are no animal products in the capsule.