Vegan Sources of Calcium
Good plant sources of calcium include:
Examples of amounts of foods providing 100mg calcium
Type of Food grams
Ensuring an adequate intake of calcium
A study in the UK of 34,696 adults, over five years, found that the vegans studied had a higher risk of bone fracture than the meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians studied. This appeared to be a result of their lower calcium intake – no increase in risk was found in those vegans consuming at least 525 mg of calcium per day – and highlights the importance of ensuring an adequate intake of calcium. Recommended intakes are given in Calcium requirements on the previous page.
Calcium is a team player
Calcium is sometimes thought of as the ‘bone-builder’, but it should not be viewed in isolation. Other nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin K, protein and potassium play an important part in building bones. Exercise also helps to build bones.
Vitamin D assists with calcium absorption so it is important to ensure a supply. Expose your face and arms to the sun for approximately 15 minutes per day. If your sun exposure is limited (for example in a British Winter), or if you are dark skinned make sure that you get 10 to 20 micrograms of vitamin D2 each day from fortified food or a supplement such as VEG1 available from The Vegan Society.
Other Factors To Consider
For more details on bone health, see please see The Vegan Society’s information sheet ‘Diet & Bone Health’ (http://www.vegansociety.com/hubpage.aspx?id=214&terms=bone+health), or our briefing paper on ‘Diet & Bone Health’ – available from us for £2 or free over email.
For more details on the vegan diet in general see Plant Based Nutrition and Health by Stephen Walsh. This book is the most comprehensive survey of scientific research on vegan diets. It is ideal for vegans, would-be vegans and health care professionals.