Sources of Calcium for Vegans Are Not As Difficult To Find As You Thought
Have you ever heard someone tell you that in order to grow strong and tall you must drink your milk? I sure know this all too well. Growing up that’s all the adults around me ever said. “Make sure to drink your milk, it’s good for your bones!”. Though this isn’t necessarily false, what is false is thinking that cow milk is the only way to grow strong. In actuality, there are so many, arguably healthier ways in which we can receive calcium. Oh yes, the thing in milk that makes us so “strong” is in fact calcium. So today I thought I would spend some time talking about the ways in which we can receive calcium on a plant-based diet. The dairy industry is harsh and cruel towards the beautiful cows, so if there is a way to leave this abuse out of the picture, why wouldn’t we? Plant-based calcium is everywhere around us, right in front of us if we only opened our eyes wide enough to see. If you stick with me, you will know all you need to know about sources of calcium for vegans and non vegans alike. So where do vegans get their calcium? Keep reading to find out.
Why We Need Calcium
Before covering plant-based sources of calcium, it is important we all understand the necessity for consuming calcium in the first place. The majority of the calcium we consume is stored within our teeth and bones. This means that the statement, “calcium makes you strong” is true in a sense. Calcium strengthens our bones prolonging the lifespan of our skeletal system. On top of the maintenance of bone and teeth health, calcium also assists in the movement of muscles as well as helps nerves carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Therefore, the consumption of calcium is quite essential in the health of the human body. So now that we have covered the ‘why’, let’s cover the ‘how’. It’s time to talk about all the plant sources of calcium that exist.
I am all for supplementing essential vitamins and minerals, however, I will always try to feed myself nourishing foods before turning to supplements. I feel as if my body works in tandem with healthy foods, thus allowing me to feel the best I possibly can. So how do we get calcium on a plant-based diet? Lucky for you there are many plants high in calcium. The most calcium will come from our greens and beans. Vegetables such as kale, brussel sprouts, collard greens, swiss chard and others are all high in calcium. That’s right, by eating these delicious vegetables you will be able to obtain vegetable sources of calcium. When eating these leafy greens, it helps to pair them with a legume such as soybeans. When doing this you are not only providing the body with even more calcium, but you are also providing it with other essential vitamins and minerals that the body craves. So there you have it, a short but sufficient list of ways in which we can get calcium from plants.
Once again, before jumping straight into the supplement portion of today’s blog, let’s talk about even more plant foods high in calcium. There are many vegan foods that have been fortified with a lot of essential vitamins and minerals we need to survive. As mentioned earlier, there are many alternatives to cow’s milk that can still provide vegan vegetarian sources of calcium. One of the best alternatives would be various plant-based milk alternatives. Soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk are all great examples, as well as plant-based yogurts. There are so many foods that have been fortified with calcium, making them a better contender for your calcium intake than any dairy milk products. Plus, as stated earlier, when consuming plant-based foods high in calcium, we are leaving animal abuse out of the picture. It’s a win for both the animals and the consumer.
Now that we have talked about calcium in plant foods, it’s time to briefly cover the world of supplements. Some fear this idea of supplements, but if your body has no other way of achieving its goals when it comes to essential nutrients and minerals, I say why not? The most common way to find a vegan calcium supplement in stores is either in pill form or chewable tablet form. Either is a great option and will fulfill the role of the best source of calcium for vegans. There are many brands out on the market so get researching. Before making a purchase, just ensure your product is vegan as some animal based ingredients may have found their way into the supplement. No need to worry though, there are many calcium supplements out there that cater to the needs of a plant-based lifestyle.
Drop The Dairy!
Now that we know how to get enough calcium as a vegan it is time to drop the dairy products. It’s time we stop forcing this idea that only cow’s and other animal’s milk will make our bones strong and healthy. We need to stop pushing the support of animal cruelty onto others as there is an abundance of other options out on the market today. There is this interesting idea that has been circulating within society for a while now, but I will share it with you in case you have yet to hear it. The human species is the only species that freely consume the milk of another animal. We are also the only species who continue to consume milk past a certain age. If we were truly like other animals, which we are, it would only be necessary to consume the milk of our mothers until we no longer breastfeed. Following breastfeeding, we should, and are definitely able to receive enough of the minerals and vitamins we need from the foods we eat. Leading a plant-based lifestyle, when done properly, is an abundant and nutrient rich lifestyle. Your body will thank you when you begin to consume more plants as that is how nature intended the human race to be. So which plant food is a good source of calcium? In case you needed a quick summary, here it is. Leafy greens, legumes, fortified foods and plant-based supplements are all simple and great ways to achieve our daily intake of calcium. And why does the body need calcium? In case you forgot, the body needs calcium in order to sustain the health of our teeth and bones, as well as to assist in the transfer of information from our brain to our body through our nerves and to help with muscle movement. Calcium is an important nutrient in the body, so let’s not forget to get enough of it!
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