Calcium is an important mineral used to maintain the health of our bones and teeth and ensure proper functioning of the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems. Consuming adequate amounts of calcium is particularly important for young children, adolescents (whose bones are still developing) and post menopausal women (whose bones start to deplete).
Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium that are absorbed very well by our body. However, I often hear people say ‘you don’t need dairy because you can easily get calcium from other sources like fruits and vegetables’. This is true, calcium can also be found in non animal sources but it is not absorbed as well and it is usually in much lower quantities. So my concern would be whether individuals know and plan what they eat to ensure they are still meeting their requirements. The tables below compare vegan VS animal sources of calcium and can be a useful guide to the calcium content of different foods.
Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
To help make sense of the figures below, let’s first go over what your daily requirements for calcium are. These values are the Nutrient Reference Values set by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Recommended adult calcium intake
Recommended calcium intake for children and adolescents
Non animal sources of calcium
The calcium sources below are all suitable for vegetarians/ vegans. It is important to keep in mind that the values are based on 100g of that item which in most cases you may not ever eat e.g. 100g of oregano. As previously mentioned, the calcium in these foods will not be absorbed as well as that from animal sources.
Animal sources of calcium
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about natural dietary sources of calcium, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!