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.