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Plant Based Calcium can Build Strong Bones – Says Oxford Research

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You can get the nutrients you need for strong bones by eating plants without having to consume milk or dairy products.

To build strong bones, we can combine exercise and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. One of the best ways to increase bone density is exercise. In a particular volume of bone, we can measure how many minerals are there.  Exercise can also reduce the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.

These five nutrients are essential to your bones and keep them healthy and strong.

Calcium

Calcium is important for bone building and protection. A plant-based diet can provide 600 mg of calcium daily.

Plants absorb calcium at a faster rate than milk. High absorption rates are possible with leafy green vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts and kale.

You can also find calcium in beans and fortified milks. A single serving of calcium-settofu, which is about a half cup, contains over 800 mg of calcium. There are many beans and chickpeas that we can consume.  A cup of chickpeas has over 100 mg of calcium.

These foods also contain magnesium which is an important mineral for healthy bones.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption. Sun is the rich source of vitamin D. It takes about 15 minutes per day to expose your skin to direct sunlight. 

Even soy, almond, or fortified grains and breads are very good supplements of vitamin D. 

 Vegan supplements are also available.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen, which is the protein that binds connective tissues in bones. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppers, as well as other fruits and veggies.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K increases our bone formation. Some of the foods such as dark leafy greens and beans which are rich in calcium is also a good source of vitamin K. 

Potassium

Potassium reduces calcium loss and speeds up bone building. Potassium is abundant in bananas, oranges, potatoes and many other vegetables and fruits.

Watch Dr. Neal Barnard discuss a recent study on vegan diets and bone health

External References:

  • PCRM Research on Calcium and Bones
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory
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