Q. I’m wondering if I’m getting enough calcium.


You have listed plenty of calcium as supplementation, especially if it is in the more bioavailable form of calcium citrate. Your diet should easily supply the other 500mg recommended by the Institute of Medicine, for a total of 1200mg per day for postmenopausal women. Americans are getting much more calcium than most other countries, and yet have a higher rate of osteoporosis than most other countries, especially third world countries. People from rural China for example get maybe 500 mg of calcium per person per day, and mostly from the best bioavailable source of all-plant sources. Green plants and seeds for example are abundant in calcium. Sesame seeds, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, lentils, and beans rank nearly as high as dairy products and yet are more bioavailable and don’t have the added burden of animal protein which has proven to be carcinogenic, and atherogenic. So keep on being vegan as much as possible.

Another thing about being vegan and relying more heavily on plant sources and less on supplements is that the calcium to magnesium ratio is more natural. This is healthier in that the deposits of calcium will not be deposited in the arteries. In plants there is a wonderful blend of calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, and boron, all of which are part of growing a healthy bone structure. And don’t forget to get enough sunshine and exercise!

I lifted this paragraph from my article on Nutrition and the Plant Based Diet.

How about getting enough calcium? Vegetarian plant sources of calcium can provide substantial levels of calcium with just a fraction of the calories of dairy products. For example, 1/4 cup of whole sesame seeds contains 351 mg of calcium, yet has only 206 calories. Four ounces of tofu (calcium-curded) provide almost 400 mg of calcium with only 86 calories. How about mixing a few tablespoons of sesame seeds in your cereal, on your salad, or buy it in a health sesame candy bar? Tofu properly seasoned is good with most any lunch or supper entrees. It also makes a good scrambled egg replacer. The greens are very high in calcium especially spinach, chard, kale and collards! A cup of cooked collard greens contains 351 mg of calcium. If all else fails 2 Tbs of blackstrap molasses contains a whopping 400 mg of calcium. The calcium RDA for a post menopausal woman is now 1200 mg. It could easily be obtained by adding a few of these powerhouses to your diet! The animal protein that comes with calcium in milk and cheese may offset or even cause a depletion of calcium in the body, by leaching the bones. Also the calcium in dairy products is not as easily absorbed by the body as plant sources; we say they are less bioavailable!

Comments ( 2 ) Leave a Comment
  1. 1 Ellen Apr 27, 2011, 4:32 PM PDT

    Thank you for the excellent info.  I’ll try eating more greens, beans etc.

    The answer to my question took about 5 days to show up after receiving your email that my answer was available.

  2. 2 Cavell May 9, 2011, 4:51 PM PDT

    Hi Ellen, the reason why the answer to your question did not show up was because we were moving our site to a new server and there were some complications with the move.

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