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By Latoya Cruz

In a Nutshell

  • Adults require 1000mg of calcium per day: 1300mg for over 50+
  • Plant-based calcium sources include nuts, seeds, tofu, leafy greens and fortified plant milks. Supplements can help meet daily needs.
  • Signs of calcium deficiency include muscle cramps, dry skin, and fatigue. Blood tests can confirm deficiency.
  • Vitamin D and magnesium aid calcium absorption, while iron can hinder it. Consume them separately.


When we think calcium, we instantly think of cow’s milk and dairy products. Whilst dairy maybe the most well-known source of calcium, you’ll be glad to know it’s not the only food that can support calcium needs.

In this article we explore ways we can support our calcium needs through a plant-based diet by identifying plant-based sources of calcium. We also look at ways to avoid depletion of calcium and what may inhibit calcium absorption.

What is calcium?

Calcium is a mineral found in the body that is ultimately responsible for bone strength, the health of our teeth, muscle contractions and assists in cardiac health. We need to consume calcium through diet to then have it absorbed through the gut to support optimal calcium stores within the body.

How Much Calcium Do I Need?

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of calcium for a healthy adult is 1000mg per day. Thisincludes both pregnant and lactating women. Whereas women over the age of 51 -70, should aim for 1300mg of calcium per day. Both men and women over the age of 70 should consume 1300mg of calcium each day.

Vegan Calcium Sources

Calcium rich foods include nuts and seeds like almonds, chia and sesame seeds, tofu, apples, dark leafy greens, green cabbage and broccoli. Most alternative milk options such as soy milk and almond milk may also contain fortified calcium. However, you may like to check the label on your favourite brands to ensure what the supply of calcium is. Supplementing with a good quality calcium supplement will also help to support sustained levels of calcium within the body. Particularly if you are unable to consume your daily needs via food intake.

What Depletes Calcium?

Excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine such as coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks are known to deplete calcium stores. A compound called oxalic acid found in some plant-based foods such as beans, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, spinach and collard greens can reduce the absorption of calcium within the digestive tract. Therefore, it is recommended to consume calcium rich foods away from these foods to maximise absorption. With that being said, research shows that the way we cook and prepare our food can decrease the component of oxalic acid within our food. For example, boiling spinach reduces the level of oxalic acid by 30-87%, making the calcium component more absorbable compared to being consumed raw.

What Inhibits Calcium Absorption?

Nutrients like iron compete with calcium for absorption in the gut. You may like to consume these two nutrients independently of one another. One the other hand, nutrients like vitamin d and magnesium assist in the uptake of calcium. Ensuring you have an abundant amount of both magnesium and vitamin d in your diet will aid in healthy calcium levels.

Conclusion: You Can Maintain Optimal Calcium Levels On A Vegan Diet

Whilst dairy maybe the most dominant form of calcium, it is not the only form of calcium available within food. By consuming a variety of plant-based calcium sources, as well as  ensuring optimal vitamin d and magnesium intake, we can achieve optimal calcium levels within the body. Calcium supplements are also available for those who are struggling to meet their calcium needs.

Maintain Calcium Levels With Perdays Plant Calcium Complex + K2

Perdays Plant Calcium Complex + K2  is 100% plant-based calcium from sustainably harvested red ocean algae. Plant Calcium is specifically formulated so women can maintain their optimal calcium levels from teen years, through motherhood, menopause and beyond.

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Latoya Cruz is a qualified nutritionist, registered with the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS). Latoya has an interest in women’s health including fertility, pre and postnatal, hormonal health and supporting busy, burnt out mums.


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