One of the most popular questions non-dairy eating people get is “How do you get your calcium?“
Calcium as you probably already know, is a mineral that is super important for us to have in our diets. Calcium not only helps to strengthen bones, it also assists in nerve and muscle function and blood clotting. The Recommended Daily Allowance for adults is 1000 mg for people 18-50 years old, slightly more for lactating women.
The Dairy Industry
The dairy industry would like us to believe that cow’s milk is the only real source of dietary calcium and that dairy products are a necessity. This in fact is just not true. You have to remember that the dairy industry’s number one goal is to sell more dairy products! The truth is that dairy products have been linked to:
- Increased rates of cancer and autoimmune diseases (The China Study)
- Increased bone breakage (Nurse’s Health Study)
- Increased bone loss (National Dairy Council!!
- Crohn’s Disease (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- and so on….
Here’s what the Harvard School of Public Health has to say about dairy:
Harvard School of Public Health, on the Consumption of Dairy Products (2005):
“The recommendation to drink three glasses of low-fat milk or eat three servings of other dairy products per day to prevent osteoporosis is another step in the wrong direction. … Three glasses of low-fat milk add more than 300 calories a day. This is a real issue for the millions of Americans who are trying to control their weight. What’s more, millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and even small amounts of milk or dairy products give them stomachaches, gas, or other problems. This recommendation ignores the lack of evidence for a link between consumption of dairy products and prevention of osteoporosis. It also ignores the possible increases in risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer associated with dairy products.”
Milk is the perfect food…for baby cows!
Vegan Sources of Calcium
The truth is that there are abundant sources of non-dairy calcium (per 1 cup):
Dark Leafy Greens
- Cooked turnip greens (450 mg)
- Cooked bok choy (330 mg)
- Cooked collards (300)
- Cooked kale (200 mg)
- Navy beans (140 mg)
- Soybeans (130 mg)
- Pinto beans (100 mg)
- Garbanzo beans (95 mg)
- Lima and black beans (60 mg)
- Nori (1200 mg)
- Kombu (2100 mg)
- Wakame (3500 mg)
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds (750 mg)
- Hazelnuts (450 mg)
- Walnuts (280 mg)
- Sesame seeds, whole, unhulled (2100 mg)
- Sunflower seeds (260 mg)
Tofu made with calicum sulfate (1721 mg)
Calcium-fortified soy milk (approx 200 mg)
Orange juice fortified with calcium citrate, which has been found to be a BETTER source of calcium than milk! (up to 500 mg)
Fortified Cereals (up to 1000 mg)
And of course, supplements!
And the best part of these non-dairy sources of calcium is that animals do not need to suffer for you to get calcium.
I hope this helps answer the dairy question.
Do you get enough calcium? What non-dairy sources do you include in your diet?