No dairy? Simple ways to make sure you’re getting your calcium as a vegan

Calcium is essential for strong bones. Both men and women begin losing bone mass in their thirties. This bone loss can be quite rapid and can lead to osteoporosis. When bones lose their density they become weak and prone to fracture.

We often think about seniors and broken hips. However, compressed spines and curved spines are just as common. Osteoporosis also leads to a lack of strength and mobility.

Calcium is also required for sending messages to your nerves and muscles. It helps blood clot and forms your teeth. Because calcium is generally found in dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese, it can be difficult to get enough on a vegan diet.

The following tips will help you make sure you’re getting your calcium.

* Drink fortified beverages – Orange juice, almond milk, soy milk and other milk substitutes often come fortified with calcium and vitamin D. One glass of fortified orange juice can give you half your day’s recommended supply.

* Eat dark leafy greens – You might be surprised to learn that dark leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards have calcium in them. So too do cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and bok choy.

* Blackstrap molasses, beans, and soy-based foods also have calcium in them. If you worry that you’re not getting the calcium you need, taking a supplement can help. Make sure, however, that you’re getting a vegan source of calcium.

Another common supplement for vegans and vegetarians is vitamin B.

Protein is essential for survival. Your muscles, tendons, skin and organs are created from protein. Proteins make hormones, neurotransmitters, and even enzymes to digest the food that you eat. You cannot function without protein.

Many vegetarians and vegans do not get enough protein in their diet. This isn’t because it’s not possible – it is very possible to get protein from plants. However, it takes a bit more attention to not only what you eat but also how much you eat. The following foods provide a good amount of protein and can help you thrive on a vegan diet.

 

Nuts and Seeds

* Almonds 30g protein per cup

* Chia seeds 16g protein per cup

* Hemp seeds 10g protein per ounce

* Sunflower seeds 23g protein per cup

 

Beans

* Baked tofu 20g protein per cup

* Black beans 15g protein per cup

* Edamame 17g per cup

* Garbanzo beans 15g protein per cup

* Great northern beans 15g protein per cup

* Lentils 18g protein per cup

 

Grains

* Brown rice 5g per cup

* Couscous 6g protein per cup

* Quinoa 8g protein per cup

 

Making sure that you eat a variety of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains can help ensure not only that you get enough protein but also a well-rounded source of protein. Generally speaking, you should get around 50 grams or more of protein each day, and if you exercise then you need even more. Many doctors and health experts recommend striving for 25 grams of protein at each meal.