Millie Padula - Accredited Practising Dietitian
What is calcium and why do we need it?
Accredited Practising Dietitian, Nutritionist and Founder of Dietitian Edition dietitianedition.com, Millie Padula, takes a closer look at the benefits of calcium.
Calcium is a type of mineral and is actually the most abundant mineral in the body. This means there’s more calcium in our bodies than any other mineral, so its role in our overall health and wellbeing is very important
One per cent of the calcium in our bodies is required for heart and muscle function and hormone secretion. The other 99% is necessary to keep our bones strong and our teeth healthy.
According to Australian Dietary Guidelines, adults should aim to consume three serves of dairy or dairy alternatives every single day to ensure we’re getting enough calcium. The richest dietary sources of calcium are dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.
However, if you follow a plant-based diet or avoid dairy for whatever reason, you might be thinking how can I make sure I get enough calcium?
Don’t worry, Raw C have got you covered – just keep reading to find out how!
The shift to plant-based eating
If you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet or are dairy-free, you might find it hard to meet your dietary requirements when it comes to calcium, particularly when dairy foods are removed all together.
Without careful consideration and appropriate meal planning, these diets tend to lack the calcium needed each day and can place an individual at risk of osteoporosis, a condition which causes bones to become brittle and weak due to a lack of calcium in the diet.
If you don’t consume enough of this essential mineral each day, your body extracts the calcium from your bones to use for other bodily processes and leaves them fragile and susceptible to fractures and breaks.
It’s not all bad news though! Through dietary education and the increased availability of calcium-fortified foods, it is absolutely possible for plant-based eaters and those who avoid dairy to reach their calcium needs!
Calcium on a plant-based diet