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Top 5 best sources of plant-based calcium

Calcium is necessary for our body: for our cells, our muscles, our blood vessels and for many other functions. It is also the most abundant mineral in the body.

The question is particularly important if you are vegan because with this dietary program, you do not consume any dairy products.

But what are the best sources of plant-based calcium? We explain everything about the concept of vegetable calcium.


What are the calcium requirements?

The recommended intakes are different depending on age :

• 500 mg for a baby

• 700 mg for a very young child (4-6 years old)

• 900 mg for a young child (7-9 years old)

• 1200 mg for a child and adolescent (10-19 years old)

• 900 mg for an adult

• 1200 mg for an elderly person and women after menopause (after 55 years)

The cow's milk question

The first food we think of when we talk about calcium is milk . We have often been told that the best source of calcium is milk.

However, many scientific studies have shown all the problems that are linked to the consumption of cow's milk . Indeed, not only is most of the calcium in cow's milk not well assimilated by the body, but above all, milk would increase the loss of calcium from our bones.

First of all, the amounts of calcium contained in milk are significant, but the bioavailability is only around 30%. This means that a large part of the calcium in milk is not assimilated by our body. In addition, like any animal protein, milk generates acid production, which leads to biological modification.

At the same time, the calcium that milk provides and which our bones need to strengthen is used to neutralize the “acidogenic” effect of milk.

This is why calcium, following this biological modification, detaches from the bones, and is finally evacuated through urine. So, milk reduces calcium in our body.

In reality, cow's milk is intended for calves just as mother's milk is intended for babies. But cow's milk contains three times more protein than human milk and is not suitable for humans, who have a very different skeleton from that of calves and cows.

Finally, lactase is the enzyme that allows us to properly digest lactose. However, lactase production is different depending on the individual and age. Some people continue to develop enough lactase to easily digest milk, but most stop producing it as they get older. This is why so many people are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk .

The best sources of plant calcium

1. Brassicas (or cruciferous plants)

Depending on the food, bioavailability is 50 to 60%! This means that most of the calcium is well assimilated by our body. Brassicas include cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.

Regarding the calcium content, for 100 grams of kale, we have 150 mg of calcium . And the positive point is that the body assimilates much more calcium than it does with milk.

2. Legumes and nuts

Rich in calcium, legumes like nuts have plenty of other benefits, such as a high protein content (another essential theme for vegans) and potassium.

Legumes include chickpeas, beans, lentils. Nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, among others.

For white beans for example, for 150 grams of cooked white beans, we have 90 mg of calcium. Regarding almonds, they contain 248 mg of calcium per 100 grams of almonds.

3. Algae

Algae, generally little consumed, have a very high contribution of calcium. You can eat sea lettuce, dulse, wakame, kombu.

Concerning the calcium content , wakame seaweed contains for example 1000 mg of calcium per 100 g. A very interesting figure!

4. Fruits and vegetables

Green vegetables also have a very interesting contribution of calcium. 100 grams of green beans contain 56 milligrams of calcium. Spinach is less bio-available but retains an interesting content: 159 milligrams of calcium for 150 grams of spinach.

Furthermore, the orange is a fruit, which in addition to being rich in vitamin C and potassium, contains a lot of calcium. To stay on fruits, plums and figs are also very interesting for a good calcium intake.

5. Seeds

Seeds are a type of food that is very beneficial for the body. This is particularly the case for chia seeds and flax seeds, which are rich in calcium. For example, chia seeds contain 67 mg of calcium per spoonful (15ml). They are also rich in good fats (omega 3), proteins and fiber.

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