A few weeks ago I did a post talking about vegan protein sources and how eating more protein can be beneficial in the long run, now I am here to talk about vegan Calcium. As many vegans don’t consider Calcium to be a nutrient of concern, this has caused many vegans to suffer from brittle bones as a result of their dismissal.
According to the Epic-Oxford study, 37% of vegans had a higher bone fracture risk than lacto-ovo vegetarians, or omnivores. According to Veganhealth.org, which is run by Registered Dietitian Jack Norris: “It is practically impossible to meet the recommendations without large amounts of cows’ milk, calcium-fortified foods, or supplements.”
This shows that even if you are consuming tons of greens, you still might not be getting enough Calcium, as it can take upwards of 8 cups of greens a day to get the right amount of Calcium, and that does not include the effects of Oxalates. Oxalates are particles that are found in many leafy greens that prevent the absorption of calcium.
Lower oxalate greens, like collards and mustard greens, still require several cups a day to get the right amount of vegan calcium. The best thing any vegan can do is either consume a supplement or drink calcium-fortified plant-milk or orange juice.
“But vegans need less Calcium because animal products leach Calcium from your bones!” Not only is there no evidence at all to back up this claim,
Not only is there no evidence at all to back up this claim, but it posits the idea that vegans need less calcium than omnivores, and that is not the case according to evidence. According to TheVeganRD.com run by Registered Dietitian Ginny Messina:
“The theory is that animal protein, through its acidifying action, “leaches” calcium from bones, eventually weakening them and causing bone fractures. If that’s true, it means that those of us who eat no animal protein are likely to have better bone health. And maybe even lower calcium needs.
Unfortunately, it’s not true. Or at the very least, the evidence in support of this relationship has fizzled over the years. I’ve written about this before, but it remains such a pervasive and potentially harmful belief that it deserves an occasional revisit.”
With many vegans going back to eating meat due to “feeling sick” and other health reasons, we cannot push the idea that vegans can just ignore calcium recommendations, especially when it is so easy to just consume more calcium. Drink a glass or two of fortified plant-milk a day, just to be sure. Don’t take the risk due to prideful thinking.