Calcium is necessary for our body: for our cells, muscles, blood vessels and many other functions. In fact, it is the most abundant mineral in the body.
This is especially important if you are a vegan because with this food program, you don’t consume any dairy products.
But what are the best sources of plant calcium? We explain everything about the concept of plant calcium.
THE QUESTION OF DOSES AND REQUIREMENTS
The recommended intakes are different according to age:
- 500 mg for a baby
- 700 mg for a very young child (4-6 years)
- 900 mg for a young child (7-9 years)
- 1200 mg for a child and adolescent (10-19 years)
- 900 mg for an adult
- 1200 mg for an elderly person and women after menopause (after 55 years of age)
THE QUESTION OF COW’S MILK
The first food you think of when you 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 associated with 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 more importantly, the milk would increase the loss of calcium from our bones.
First of all, the amount of calcium in milk is important, but the bioavailability is only about 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 that our bones need to strengthen is used to neutralize the “acidogenic” effect of milk.
As a result of this biological modification, calcium is detached from the bones and is finally excreted in the urine. Thus, milk reduces the calcium in our bodies.
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 as much protein as 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 digest lactose properly. However, the production of lactase is different depending on the individual and age. Some people continue to develop enough lactase to easily digest milk, but most people don’t produce lactase as they grow older. This is why so many people are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk.
THE BEST SOURCES OF PLANT CALCIUM
1. BRASSICACEAE (OR CRUCIFERS)
Depending on the food, bioavailability is 50 to 60%! This means that most of the calcium is well assimilated by our body. Among the brassicas are cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
As for the calcium content, for every 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. calcium-rich legumes and nuts Both legumes and nuts are rich in calcium and have many other benefits, such as a high protein content (another key issue for vegans) and potassium.
Legumes include chickpeas, beans and 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. For almonds, they contain 248 mg of calcium per 100 grams of almonds.
Algae, which are generally not eaten much, have a very high calcium intake. You can eat sea lettuce, dulse, wakame and kombu.
Regarding 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 calcium intake. 100 grams of green beans contain 56 milligrams of calcium. Spinach is less bio-available but still has an interesting content: 159 milligrams of calcium for 150 grams of spinach.
Moreover, the orange is a fruit, which in addition to being rich in vitamin C and potassium, contains a lot of calcium. To stay on the fruit, plums and figs are also very interesting for a good calcium intake.
5. THE GRAINS
Seeds are a very beneficial type of food for the body. This is particularly the case with chia seeds and flax seeds, which are rich in calcium. For example, chia seed contains 67 mg of calcium per spoon (15ml). They are also rich in good fats (omega 3), protein and fibre.