How can I get enough calcium naturally with a vegan diet?!

Question: How can I get enough calcium naturally with a vegan diet?
I exercise a lot and I'm thinking about going vegan.
I'm afraid I won't get enough calcium and proteins with this sort of diet...
What should I eat?


It's tough.


"After adjusting for age alone, the vegans had a 37% higher fracture rate than meat-eaters. After adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass, physical activity, marital status, births, and hormone replacement, the vegans still had a 30% higher fracture rate. Meat-eaters, fish-eaters, and lacto-ovo fracture rates did not differ in any of the analyses performed."

"A 2009 cross-sectional study of lacto-ovo vegetarian women in Slovakia found that their higher homocysteine (16.5 vs. 12.5 μmol/l; 78% vs. 45% were elevated) and lower vitamin B12 levels (246 vs. 302 pmol/l; 47% vs. 28% were deficient) were associated with significantly lower bone mineral density in the femur (34). Participants were not allowed to have been taking vitamin or mineral supplements. The researchers did not measure calcium intake or vitamin D status."

"The calcium in kale, broccoli, collard greens, and soymilk is all absorbed relatively well.
The calcium in spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens is not well absorbed, due to their high content of oxalates, which bind calcium.
Calcium supplements can inhibit iron absorption if eaten at the same time."

"Vitamin D3 - cholecalciferol; is derived from animals (usually from sheep's wool or fish oil).
Vitamin D2 - ergocalciferol; is vegan and usually obtained from yeast.

Large, single doses of vitamin D2 do not last as long as large doses of D3. In a 2004 study by Armas et al. (17), subjects were given one dose of 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 was absorbed just as well as vitamin D3. However, after three days, blood levels of 25(OH)D started dropping rapidly in the subjects who were given vitamin D2, whereas those who received vitamin D3 sustained high levels for two weeks before dropping gradually."


Protein is made up of amino acids. While meat, eggs, dairy products contain all the amino acids needed for complete protein, most veggies only contain some of them (or weak versions). You need to eat a variety and a lot of veggies every day so your body can combine them into the complete protein it needs. One of thise amino acids, lysine, is found only in legumes (beans, peas...). You should eat at least one serving, three is better, of legumes every day to get complete protein.


More from

"The most important thing to be aware of regarding protein in vegan diets is that you need to get enough of the amino acid lysine. Make sure you read the section on lysine below and check out the high-lysine foods. Beyond that, there is evidence that erring on the side of more protein (1.0 to 1.1 grams of protein per kg of healthy body weight per day for adults) is a good idea, and especially for people 60 years and older."

I can't add to the list of the other posters. But I wanted to remind you that cows are vegan, and, once weaned, they get all the calcium they need to form strong bones and make milk, just from eating plants.

Whole grains (such as wheat, oats, and rice), legumes (beans, lentils, and peanuts) nuts (such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts) and seeds (such as sunflower and quinoa) are great sources of protein in a varied diet (eat a combination of the above in your diet, but not necessarily in the same meal, or even day, just in your diet as a whole).

oranges, pumpkin, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, almond butterm cahsews,
brazil nuts, broccoli, spinach, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, they all have calcium.

Soymilk, soycheese, tofu, soybeans, edamame, spinach, pumpkin seeds,
wheatgerm ( in wholegrain bread and pasta and granola) they all have calcium and protein.

LEntils, chickpeas, fava beans, black/red/lim/kidney/pinto beans- all have tons of protein and calcium.

Pesto (vegan cheese
Almond cheese
nut butters- peanut almond
bananas (calcium)
avocado with vegan cheese and wholewheat pita bread.
wholegrain burrito with black beans, shredded soycheese and gluten strips or vegetable protein crumbles ( buy from any cheap mexican market)
Baked tofu ( from any cheap Asian market) and peanut sate sauce kebabs
LEntil and brazil nut pie, with cheesy mash pumpkin topping.

Eat lots of greens, fresh fruits and veggies, and drink fortified juices/milks/etc.

The consumer Foods information on is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions.
The answer content post by the user, if contains the copyright content please contact us, we will immediately remove it.
Copyright © 2007 FoodAQ - Terms of Use - Contact us - Privacy Policy

Food's Q&A Resources