The traditional method for boosting calcium is drinking a glass of milk, but what if you’re a vegan? Products derived from cows (or goats or sheep) are completely off the menu, and you still have nutritional requirements to meet. That means you need to find alternative sources (https://longevity.technology/lifestyle/top-5-plant-based-calcium-sources-to-enhance-bone-health-as-you-age/).
Calcium is really important. It’s most famous for its role in ensuring you have strong, healthy bones, but it also helps regulate how and when your muscles contract. This includes the heart muscle, so getting it right is vital. It also impacts blood clotting, how your nerves transmit signals, and the levels of some hormones. A lack of calcium can lead to weakened bones and conditions like rickets.
You’ll find high levels of calcium in milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products, but these are excluded from the vegan diet or for people with some allergies. The same goes for another major calcium source, sardines. Luckily, there are plants and seeds that are also calcium-rich.
Among these plants are green leafy vegetables, with kale being a prominent example. Leafy greens tend to be nutritionally dense. Kale also contains vitamins E and K, along with fiber and protein. It’s worth noting that while spinach is also high in calcium, the body can have difficulty processing it, so it’s not as effective.
Then there are soy products. This includes edamame, made from young soybeans; tofu, a staple of the vegan diet; and soy milk, which you can add to your coffee, tea or cereal. Soy is high in protein and amino acids and contains isoflavones, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can improve heart health.
You don’t just have to look to the land to find plants rich in calcium. Seaweed is also a good source, and it comes with the benefit of also being one of the best dietary sources of iodine, in addition to being high in magnesium, fiber, protein and all kinds of other nutrients.
If seeds are more to your liking, chia seeds are recommended as a source for many vitamins and minerals, not just calcium. And if you’re looking for something that fits more with your previous diet, look for regular cereals that have been fortified with calcium and other nutrients.
There are a lot of options if you’re looking for plant-based sources of calcium, but you need to actively seek them out.