One concern I know a lot of people have about a plant-based diet is that they might find it difficult to get enough calcium.
We are brought up to believe the best and strongest sources of calcium are all from animals but that's not strictly true, and studies have actually shown that cows milk weakens bones long term! This is because it's very difficult for our bodies to absorb, and can actually cause calcium loss in our bones due to cows milk causing the pH in our bodies to become acidic which triggers a reaction to bring that pH level back down. Calcium is very good at neutralising that acidity, so that means when we drink the cows milk the calcium is actually being drained from our bones to rebalance the acidity...bet they didn't teach you that at school!
Calcium is the mineral that we have the most of in our bodies, with 99% of it being stored in our bones and teeth and the remaining 1% is in our blood and soft tissues. Therefore it's undeniably incredibly important, and vital for maintaining strong, healthy bones and also preventing things like blood clots and keeping the heart beating.
Plant-based calcium sources tend to contain other important minerals to help with bone health too, including magnesium, vitamin D & potassium - making them extra good for us, and they're surprisingly easy to find.
The NHS recommends adults need at least 700mg of calcium a day, which sounds like a lot but it's easily achievable. My favourite sources of calcium are kale, tahini, almonds and chickpeas...all delicious and nutritious! Basically, needing to get in extra calcium is an excuse to eat loads of hummus and almond butter (just not at the same time).
Here are some of the best plant-based calcium sources -
1. Kale (1 cup approx. 180mg)
2. Tahini (2 table spoons approx. 130mg)
3. Almond Butter (2 tablespoons approx. 85mg)
4. Broccoli (1 cup approx. 95mg)
5. Chickpeas (1/2 cup 50mg)
6. Almond milk (1/2 cup approx. 250mg)
You could make a wonderful stir-fry with broccoli and tahini, a kale salad accompanied by hummus, deliciously porridge with almond milk, almond butter on toast or throw some greens into your smoothie each day to really up your calcium intake and protect that body of yours.
Getting your much needed calcium on a plant-based diet isn't hard at all!