pinterest Save

five reasons to get your calcium from plants

If you’re “nondairy” then where do you get your calcium? Of course, that’s a question vegans have heard for years. But the assumption that dairy milk is the best (or only) calcium source is old school, carried over from the USDA’s Basic 7 and Basic Four food groups and a couple “food pyramids,” introduced over the years from the 1940s up to the current MyPlate, introduced in 2011. As the authority on nutrition, these guides compelled the generations to “eat healthy” and drink milk to build strong bones.

However, the myth depicting dairy as the primary calcium source has been dispelled by more recent findings that prove: Getting our calcium from plants is far healthier! So here are five reasons to put them on the menu today.

1. Scientifically supported—not influenced by powerful food-industry lobbyists, agriculture policies, or milk marketing campaigns. In late 2011, the Harvard School of Public Health boldly challenged the USDA’s dairy-friendly MyPlate nutrition guide by launching a new-and-improved alternative of its own—the Healthy Eating Plate. The Harvard guide emphasizes plant-based and deemphasizes dairy. In fact, half the plate is vegetables, with dairy relegated to only two side notes saying “limit dairy/milk (1–2 servings/day)” and for protein “limit cheese.” That’s it, and for good reason ...
    2. Safer than dairy. While the USDA calls for having dairy with every meal, Harvard’s studies confirm a high intake of dairy products can negatively affect blood-sugar levels and increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer. Add to that dairy’s saturated fats linked to heart disease and stroke. By contrast, plant foods like collards, soy milk, baked beans, and many others provide high calcium, minus the risks.

      3. High in calcium. We need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day for good bone health, but Americans miss the mark. Given that cow’s milk is so high in calcium, shouldn’t we drink more of it? Not when you consider the health risks we just mentioned plus the fact that plants are as laden with calcium as dairy is:

      1 Cup Calcium (milligrams)
      Hemp milk 460
      Collards 350
      Cow's milk (1% fat) 305 (Source:USDA)
      Fortified orange juice 300
      Amaranth 275
      Turnip greens 250

      4. Rich in other nutrients.
      Plant-based foods provide other nutrients besides calcium that are equally important for bone health: vitamins C and K, and minerals potassium and magnesium. Even calcium itself is essential for more than just bones and teeth: In a recent Veestro article about calcium, food and lifestyle expert Mia Syn of Nutrition By Mia notes that it’s “the most abundant mineral in the body and is needed for muscle, nerve, and vascular function.”
        5. Abundantly available. Plants packed with calcium are plentiful and varied, easily incorporated into any diet (veg or omnivore!). Mia recommends calcium-rich, plant-based Veestro meals like Oatmeal Breakfast Pie, Savory Croquettes, Red Curry with Tofu, Kale and Quinoa Salad, Chick’n Quesadillla, Spinach Pie, and the Enchilada and Eggplant casseroles. And when you’re in the market for greens, check nutritionist Daisy Whitbread’s list of 33 high-calcium veggies for more ways to get the calcium you need.

          Sources:

          Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2.com
          Harvard Declares Dairy NOT Part of Healthy Diet Becky Streipe, Care2.com
          25 Vegan Sources for Calcium

          Related Blog Posts

          what 1,500 calories looks like on a plant-based diet

          5 foods to avoid

          your sugar detox guide

          3 tips to lose weight on a plant-based diet

          are you vitamin d deficient?

          here’s what happens to your body on a juice cleanse

          don't like what you see in the mirror? these 3 things are ruining your skin.

          bad diets are responsible for more deaths than smoking

          war on waste: are fresh veggies healthier than frozen?

          got milk? the dairy industry’s mass deception

          what happens to your body when you go vegan?

          how easily can the pope go vegan?

          supercharge your sex life

          is it possible to prevent and reverse disease?

          5 ways plants power us in 2019

          detox your body

          eating your way through diabetes

          eating healthy doesn’t have to be scary - 5 simple tips

          breaking up with caffeine

          the most unusual facts about berries

          debunked: 5 myths about veganism

          can you get enough protein from plants?

          5 foods you should never eat

          spotlight on: activated charcoal

          5 superfoods for women's health

          ancient remedies we use today

          five magnesium-rich foods for stress relief

          why detox?

          10 ways to sneak in more veggies

          5 surprising benefits of coconut oil

          high fiber foods you can snack on

          mushrooms—the vegetable that never was

          myth vs fact: 5 things you didn't know about vitamin c

          plant-based aphrodisiacs that work

          5 heart-healthy foods

          8 underrated veggies & why you should be eating them

          #yeswecan challenge - setting yourself up for fitness success

          probiotics - your best friend around the holidays

          5 winter superfoods for more energy

          5 easy ways to detox after overindulging

          holiday spotlight: pumpkin

          the key benefits of juicing

          should you take supplements?

          veggie anatomy 101: carrots

          is plant-based good for kids?

          good carbs vs. bad carbs

          5 organic oils for health and beauty

          food facts: tomatoes

          frozen vs. fresh: know your veggies

          10 seasonal superfoods

          5 summer foods to keep you hydrated

          how much water should you really drink?

          plant foods that boost your energy

          stone fruit: five favorites for summer

          men's health month: five plant-based benefits for men

          5 protein-packed veggies

          10 foods that boost your brain

          five concerns about plant-based calories

          vitamin d: essential like the sun

          is soy good or bad for men?

          12 foods to keep your heart happy

          the sweet truth about sugar: myths and facts

          get grounded with this winter superfood

          5 things to eat for a strong immune system

          sodium's effects on health and weight

          how to: make winter eating your healthiest

          5 winter squashes you need for better health right now

          halloween inspired veggies to help you live longer

          fat vs. sugar: the battle rages on

          the soybean saga: myths and facts

          5 reasons to fall in love with kale all over again

          five reasons to get your calcium from plants

          top reasons to have an apple a day

          meeting your nutritional needs with veestro

          just how important is breakfast?

          food facts: watermelon

          plant based protein to keep you satisfied

          rockin the rhubarb

          iodine on a vegan diet

          the truth behind antioxidants and food

          eat your greens

          do you get enough energy from your food?

          healthy snacking tips for you & your kiddos

          how to manage your allergies

          is it a flower or a vegetable: discover the artichoke

          leaders in plant-based nutrition

          6 foods that help reduce inflammation

          noodles, pasta, spaghetti, hoorah!

          celebrating national frozen food month

          why be meatless?

          jane esselstyn on women's heart health

          healthy superbowl ideas

          cha-cha-chia

          pulses - the superfood that always has bean

          2016 resolution for health

          cooking without oil

          it's all about the pomegranate

          how to have a healthy holiday

          grains to protect your immune system this winter

          movember, prostate cancer, and your diet

          linking breast cancer and diet

          pumpkin seeds and their health benefits

          turmeric and it's powerful benefits

          growing edamame & health benefits of soy

          pumped for peppers!

          what's sugar doing to us?

          benefits of basil

          plant-based nutrition and obesity in children

          benefits of raw foods

          lower your cholesterol the easy way. eat more fiber.

          red, white, & blue can be healthy for you!

          nih guide: how to lower blood pressure with a dash eating plan

          happy father's day - how's that prostate?

          vitamin b-12 in the vegan diet

          pea it out!

          stop the madness! treat heart disease with a healthy diet -- not drugs!

          world health day & connection to vegan diet

          cabbage - it's history, use, and nutritional benefit

          want to lower your cholesterol? a pill is not a magic bullet!

          are you at risk for heart disease?

          losing your mind? try these memory boosting superfoods!

          can eating more veggies save your eyesight?

          don't have breakfast without one of these three!