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do you get enough calcium from your food? Brenda Davis, RD answers
July 14, 2011

Are you sure you get enough calcium from your food? After all, calcium absorption from different foods varies. I bet you don't run around with a calcium calculator, and at best you either take a supplement, or calcium-fortified orange juice. So if you donít get enough, the consequences are brittle bones and risk of osteoporosis.

Iíve just recorded a special interview with Brenda Davis, RD where she talks about best sources of calcium - and calcium-related myths. Brenda is a bestselling author of seven nutrition books. I have always respected her strict following research and facts and saying it as it is even if the truth is not supporting her cause. She is a great speaker and writer, so I hope you enjoy reading her interview. (Please copy-paste the whole link if it appears broken)

After recording it, I went back to Brenda's book, Becoming vegan, to check whether my calcium intake was adequate. Much to my horror, I consumed only about half of the recommended amount with my food. Sure, I eat kale, but I don't eat 2 cups every day! And recently we have replaced fortified soymilk with Rice Dream milk because we were scared of natural flavours. Guess what, our calcium intake just dropped by 20%!

The point is, if you donít pay special attention to calcium, you probably donít get enough!

So I thought youíd appreciate a quick recap on your calcium needs and the best sources of calcium in foods.

You need to target approximately 1000 mg of calcium per day, and 1200 if you are over 50 y.o. It translates to 6 to 8 servings of calcium per day.

How to avoid calcium deficiencies

Easy way to cover your basic daily need for calcium (everything you eat extra is a bonus):

  • 4 oz /120 g of cheese and 1 cup of yogurt (lots of dairy!)
  • 1 cup of fortified orange juice, 1 cup fortified soymilk and 1 cup of yogurt (less dairy)

Now letís look at dairy-free, vegan choices:

  • 2 cups of kale, 1 cup fortified soymilk, 1 cup fortified orange juice
  • 1/2 cup white beans, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup fortified soymilk, 1 cup fortified orange juice

How to get calcium from non-fortified sources?

  • 1 cup black beans,1/2 cup kale, 1/2 cup calcium-set tofu
  • 1 cup kale, 2 figs,1/2 cup calcium-set tofu
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses,1/2 cup bok choy,1/2 cup calcium set tofu

I am sure you noticed a pattern.

Calcium-set firm tofu is one of the major food sources of calcium. Take a look at the top calcium foods list:

Dairy-free top food sources of calcium

  • Calcium-set firm tofu
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Beans ( navy, white, black and soybeans)
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Bok choy
  • Almonds
  • Sesame tahini and sesame seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Figs
  • Seaweed
  • Fortified soymilk
  • Fortified orange juice
  • Fortified cereals (Special K Plus, fr example)

Hope this was helpful. Stay tuned: I am about to publish Brendaís most up-to-date research on vitamin D and B12!


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