Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, so naturally it’s also very important for our overall health, especially bone health. Let’s discuss why calcium is essential for so many bodily functions and the best vegan sources!March 29, 2023 8:51 pm March 29, 2023 3:53 pm
What is calcium?
Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. For example, it plays a key role in the structure and maintenance of our bones and teeth. In fact, over 99% of the calcium in our body is stored in our bones and teeth.(1)
Although calcium is a mineral more often associated with healthy bones and teeth, it’s also essential for carrying messages from our brain to other parts of our body. In addition, it plays a role in blood clotting, muscle movement, as well as regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve functions. Several studies even show how calcium can ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women.(2)
However, the human body doesn’t produce calcium by itself. Therefore, we have to rely on our diet for sourcing the amount we need. Furthermore, our bodies require vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. As a result, human beings don’t fully benefit from a calcium-rich diet if they’re low on vitamin D.
If you follow a plant-based diet, mushrooms grown in UV light and fortified products like plant milks or breakfast cereals are great sources of vitamin D. Also, our Organic Hemp Seed Powder naturally offers vitamin D, plus a dose of healthy plant-based protein and fibre. It’s ideal for adding into a post-workout smoothie or mixing into breads and cakes.
However, sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. The vitamin forms in our skin when we come into contact with the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which is why some people call it ‘the sunshine vitamin’.
So, moving on, what are the best sources of calcium? Before we get into that, let’s quickly cover calcium deficiency.
What is calcium deficiency?
As previously discussed, calcium plays a major part in our bone health. Think of your bones as your body’s calcium reservoir. If we don’t get the recommended amount in our diets, our body will instead take calcium from our skeleton to use elsewhere, thus weakening our bones.
Subsequently, calcium is essential for children as they grow and develop. Children who don’t get enough calcium may not grow to their full potential height, or may develop other health issues.
Additionally, for adults, not enough calcium can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, or frail bones that easily fracture. Osteoporosis is especially common in older women, which is why the healthcare professionals recommend they consume more calcium than their male counterparts. Complications from osteoporosis include, disability, spinal fractures or other bone fractures and difficulty walking. Unfortunately, hypocalcemia can also cause eye damage and an abnormal heartbeat.
The following conditions or lifestyle habits may result in low calcium levels and hypocalcemia:
- Excess consumption of caffeine, soda, or alcohol
- Coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and other digestive diseases
- Overconsumption of magnesium
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Phosphate deficiency
- Eating disorders such as anorexia
- Some cancers such as colorectal, lung, and thyroid
- Kidney failure
Now let’s take a look at the best sources of calcium, how much calcium they contain and how that translates to our daily value (DV).
This may appear as a bit of a curve ball but we can assure you that it’s not. People eat almost all parts of the moringa tree and in many parts of the world they use it as a herbal remedy. In fact, it can positively impact so many different parts of the human body that several cultures refer to it as “the tree of life.” Just 2 tsp (4g) of moringa powder contain 100mg of calcium, which is almost 10% DV!
Moringa leaf powder is versatile, which probably explains why it’s so popular. The recommended serving sizes of the powder range from 2 to 6g. You can take it as a hot drink on an empty stomach or on a full stomach. It’s also great for mixing into salad dressing, stirring into soups or adding to a variety of pasta sauces, such as marinara or pesto. If you have a sweet tooth, fear not, it’s good for mixing into baked goods like brownies and cupcakes or blending into smoothies to give them a calcium-enriched boost! The choices are endless.
This gluten-free grain doesn’t grow from grasses like other cereal grains do. Besides being a complete plant-based protein, it is also one of the best vegan sources of calcium. A serving of cooked amaranth grain contains 115mg of calcium, which is up to 10% of our DV.
Fortunately, amaranth comes in many forms, all with terrific health benefits. So, no matter your cooking ability or style, amaranth will fit brilliantly into your recipes. For example, with our amaranth flour you can transform all your go-to baking recipes into calcium-rich showstoppers for friends and family.
Note: Make sure to double-check recipes before you use amaranth flour, especially for bread making, where in some cases no more than 25% of the flour can be replaced by amaranth flour as a blend. Any more can affect the structure and texture of the bread.