Vegetarian Calcium sources


Some people are not aware of the calcium content in plant foods. It is quite astonishing at how high some of these foods are in calcium!

A great way to include lots of greens in your family's diet is to add them to your smoothies. (Vitamix does a fantastic job with this. It is definitely the best blender I have ever used and I have gone through a few!)

I switch it up, using kale, spinach and beet greens in addition to the fruits (bananas, strawberries, orange juice etc).

An excellent book on cooking calcium rich, dairy free meals is Calciyum!: Delicious Calcium-Rich Dairy-Free Vegetarian Recipes by David Bronfman and Rachelle Bronfman

Other Factors To Consider:

* Salt (sodium) causes calcium loss, so try cutting down on sodium consumption and try integrating low-sodium foods into your diet. Herbs are a great way to add flavor without using too much salt. Unico and President's choice now offer canned tomatoes that have 0 salt added. Many canned foods are extremely high in salt so check the labels!

* Caffeine reduces calcium absorption. Try reducing your intake of caffeinated foods and drinks such as coffee and tea.

Vegetables and fruit improve calcium balance so eat plenty.

Note: It appears that oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens, binds with calcium and reduces calcium absorption. Calcium is well absorbed from other dark green vegetables.

As you can see many vegetarian foods are comparable in calcium content and in some cases exceed those found in animal products.

Sources: Composition of Foods. USDA Nutrient Data Base for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005 and Manufacturer's information.
Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko


Beck said...

Thanks! That's a very handy list. We're trying to restrict the dairy intake on one of my dairy-crazed children, so this will be useful!

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