Plant Shift

love ♥ living ♥ vegan

Following a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, is about food, drink, clothes, shoes, body treatments, hair products and more. 

It's a conscious decision to think, walk and possibly, talk a better lifestyle. 

I support individuals who are thinking about making the shift, as well as, those who have already begun their plant-based journey.

Filtering by Tag: calcium

How vegans get calcium without consuming dairy

When my friends and family found out that I was following a vegan diet, I'd often get asked 'How do you make sure you get enough Calcium?' I found it strange that the false equation between dairy milk and calcium was so strong. Everyone seemed to believe you needed one for the other! Some of us are able to answer questions like this, others don't want to answer, and for some, they'd like something to help them give a response.

Whichever category you fall into, it's worth reading what Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton have to say about vegans and calcium intake.

But…Will I get enough calcium if I don’t consume milk and other dairy products?

Yes. In fact, if you don’t consume dairy, and are conscientious about getting calcium from plant foods, you may well reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis.

“What?” you ask. “But we are told that we need milk and other dairy products in order to have strong bones.” Yes, we are told that — by the dairy industry. But that does not mean that it is true. We don’t need to drink the milk produced by another species; indeed, we are the only species that does so. In order to perpetuate the profitable notion that we need cow’s milk, we are subjected to nutritional disinformation.

We need calcium for strong bones. The dairy industry tells us that cow’s milk is the sole or primary source of calcium. But cow’s milk is not the only, or the best source of calcium. Many plant foods are excellent sources of calcium: molasses; almonds; figs; sprouted sunflower seeds; sesame seeds; tofu processed with calcium sulfate; calcium-set tofu; bok choy; broccoli; Chinese cabbage; kale; mustard greens; okra; beans; and fortified soy, almond, coconut, hemp, and rice milks.

Moreover, not only is cow’s milk not by any means the only source of calcium, it’s not the best. The body needs magnesium to absorb calcium and cow’s milk does not have sufficient magnesium to support its level of calcium. This results in the accumulation of excessive calcium in the body and that can lead to the development of calcium deposits in our joints and kidneys.

The consumption of animal protein, including the protein found in dairy products, causes our blood to acidify, which results in the leaching of calcium from our bones and our eventually excreting it from our bodies. So the consumption of dairy products not only does not prevent osteoporosis but it can actually cause it!

In The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell found that a protein found in cow’s milk — casein — promoted cancer. Dr. Joel Fuhrman also notes in Eat to Live that there is a strong correlation between dairy lactose and heart disease.

Do vegans have to be sure to eat enough calcium-rich plant foods to ensure that they have sufficient calcium? Yes. But given that more than 60% of Americans who consume milk are deficient in calcium, diligence is not only a matter for vegans. Indeed, given the other issues involved with cow’s milk and the proteins contained in it, the vegan, once again, has the nutritional advantage.

Related content

Where do vegans get their protein from?
How do vegans get enough iron if they don't eat meat? 

Link to a book by Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton: An exploration and rejection of the various excuses — the “Buts” — that keep us eating animal foods.

Men have a tendency to believe what they least understand.
— Anonymous

Does the NHS recommend a vegan diet AND can you follow a vegan diet if you're pregnant?

As you may have read in previous posts, my decision to go vegan was an emotional one. It was based on watching a video about dairy-production; so I wasn't thinking about my health at the time. However, a great by-product of following a vegan diet was that my health improved. I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I found that it became virtually non-existent when I shifted to a vegan diet. I also had more energy and I lost weight. I didn't need to, or want to lose weight, but it happened naturally, because I was eating better. As for being pregnant; this is a precious and often emotional period of time for mums-to-be, so I wouldn't feel comfortable telling anyone that they should be vegan whilst being pregnant. This is because I haven't done it myself, so how could I say it with conviction? This video has solved that for me; because there's a healthy mum-to-be who talks about how great she feels being vegan during her pregnancy, as well as, how she feels after the birth of the baby.

The video covers 2 main things. You'll meet someone who's worked for the NHS for over 15 years who recommends a vegan diet to those who have health issues and you'll hear from a mum who was vegan whilst she was pregnant.

Whilst watching the video, can you spot any information that helps you answer the following questions?

  1. Which three conditions do vegans suffer from LESS?

  2. Do vegans need to worry about Calcium or B12 intake?

  3. Is Vitamin D something that only vegans need?

  4. Can mums-to-be remain on a vegan diet without putting their unborn child/children at risk?

  5. What about infants? Will they get what they need on a vegan diet?

  6. Does being vegan help babies suffer less?

More about this film...

The entire film lasts 30 minutes. It explores the benefits of being vegan. Some of these are: -

  • an exciting lifestyle

  • eating delicious food

  • consuming healthy food

  • tackling the ethics behind making this shift

  • global challenges that we face now and in the future.

It was produced by The Vegan Society. Will you make the connection and become part of the solution?

"I think and speak clearer since I cut the dairy out. I can breathe better and perform at a better rate, and my voice is clearer. I can explore different things with my voice that I couldn't do because of my meat and dairy ingestion." Common (hip-hop musician)