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Question:

I am 50 years old and vegan how much calcium do I need to eat and from what sources?

Larry

Answer:

Dear Larry,

Vegans may be at increased risk for inadequate intake of calcium because of their lack of consumption of dairy products.

Calcium absorption may be reduced in vegetarians because they eat more plant foods containing oxalic and phytic acids, compounds which interfere with calcium absorption.

However, vegetarian diets that contain less protein may reduce calcium excretion

The recommended daily amount of calcium required, for males from adolescence through adult is 800 to 1200 mg.

Certain medications or dietary supplement may interact with calcium supplements.Sometimes any of the following conditions can affect the use of calcium supplements:

Diarrhea.
Stomach or intestinal problems (extra calcium may be necessary).
Heart disease.
Thyroid disorders
hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria
Hyperparthyroidism
Hypoparthyroidism

The best sources of calcium for vegans are:

Food
Calcium (mg)
Soy Milk, calcium fortified 1 cup
200 to 400
Fruits
Almonds ½ cup
162
Sunflower seeds, dried. 1 oz
50
Amaranth, cooked. .5 cup
135
Orange juice, calcium fortified, 6 fl oz.
200-260
Oranges 1 cup
72
Apple, raw with skin
10
Cantaloupe 1 cup
18
Watermelon 1 wedge
23
Blackberries 1 cup
46
Kiwi, raw. 1 cup
50
Figs, dried, uncooked. 1 cup
300
Cereals
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice
20
Bread, white, 1 oz
31
Brown rice, long grain, raw. 1 cup
50
Legumes
Legumes, general, cooked. .5 cup
15 to 50
Chickpeas 1 cup
105
Vegetables
Iceberg lettuce 1 head
102
Cabbage, raw 1 cup
33
Spinach, cooked, ½ cup
120
Celery 1 cup
48
Turnip greens, boiled, ½ cup
99
Kale, cooked, 1 cup
94
Cucumber, peeled 1 large cucumber
39
Potato, baked with the skin 1 potato
30
Calcium sources for “pescatarian” ,people who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish.
Sardines, canned in oil, with bones, 3 oz.
324
Mackerel, canned. 3 oz.
250
Ocean perch 3 ounces
116
Canned salmon with bones, 3 oz
181


Wheat is poor in calcium. Refined flour contains only 20mg calcium per 100g. but this lower content is offset by better absorption.Whole wheat aids calcium absorption

It is also important to engage in weight-bearing exercise to maximize bone strength and bone density to help prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Weight bearing exercise is the type of exercise that causes your bones and muscles to work against gravity while they bear your weight.

Resistance exercises such as weight training are also important because they help to improve muscle mass and bone strength.

Examples of weight bearing exercise walking running dancing aerobics skating.

Examples of NON-weight bearing exercise swimming bicycling water aerobics.

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