Calcium - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-09-2016, 07:42 AM
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My doctor is referring me to a nutritionist and I would like to be prepared for this appointment. I am pregnant right now and they are not worried about protein, oddly enough. But because I have a sensitivity to dairy, they are worried about calcium.

I currently have a fortified rice milk I have been using with cereal and in tea---intron to get a cup a day because it is fortified with B12. I see that it also has 30% of my calcium needs. Now that the weather is warmer, I want to have smoothies again and plan to get a block of tofu every week to blend into that.

My husband is a picky eater so I do better with frozen veggies since I can add them easily to only my stuff. I do as a consequence eat frozen spinach a few times a week.

Here is my typical diet right now. I had some bad food aversions in my first trimester and actually lost 5 pounds. My appetite is returning and I am eating normally again.

Breakfast: shredded wheat cereal with rice milk, or toast with peanut butter, or oatmeal with applesauce, raisins and seeds. Want to start having a smoothie once in awhile but I get cold sores if I have these every day.

Snack: usually crackers mid-morning to fight blood sugar drops and remaining nausea/blurg feelings. I can try to pack some hummus to go with this, and when the school year is done (I am a teacher) I can have peanut butter (it is not permitted at school).

Lunch: Trying to cook more so I can have leftovers from dinner for lunch. This is usually a bowl food and includes legumes and veggies. For example, pasta with veggies and sauce, rice bowl with edamame and veggie mix, lentil soup with toast or whole-grain crackers, etc. I enjoy a veggie burger from time to time, but my husband finds them distasteful so I only eat those if he is not home.

Snack: a dip contained of pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and fruit (strawberries, watermelon etc.)

Dinner: see lunch :-)

I cannot have dairy and although I can have things like Daiya cheese, I have found that many non-dairy yogurts do not work for me because they have added flax, to which I have an allergy (I have been tested).

I welcome any suggestions for ways to boost calcium. Thanks!
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#2 Old 05-09-2016, 08:43 AM
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I'd suggest that you get yourself a Cron-O-meter account and log your intake daily.
It's an incredibly useful too. Free too.

Tahini is a good source I believe, it's sesame seed butter and fantastic on toast as well as in salad dressings.
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#3 Old 05-09-2016, 09:29 AM
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Looks like tofu, wakame (a seaweed, you can buy it dried and add it to stews), cress, figs, rhubarb, white beans, red beans, chickpeas and enriched soya milk are all good bets.

I should take notice myself, as my calcium levels have been coming out on the low side since I started daily logging.
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Last edited by Spudulika; 05-09-2016 at 09:33 AM.
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#4 Old 05-09-2016, 10:16 AM
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Dark leafy greens, broccoli
I think I read somewhere about spinach being an exception but I could be wrong!
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#5 Old 05-09-2016, 10:17 AM
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Also, I'm not sure how much it boosts overall calcium levels but I use dr Harry's tooth remineralizing powder and it contains calcium. You don't consume it per se but you don't rinse so some could potentially be absorbed! I wouldn't rely on it though hehe
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#6 Old 05-09-2016, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fungifaerie View Post
Dark leafy greens, broccoli
I think I read somewhere about spinach being an exception but I could be wrong!
Yeah, I think it's something about the oxalic acid in it which binds to the calcium. to to the internet to see how much of that I imagined up...
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#7 Old 05-09-2016, 12:16 PM
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Posts: 3,657, a website authored by a vegan Registered Dietitian, has very detailed information about calcium: and

I second the recommendation to use Cronometer ( to track your calcium intake.

Calcium-fortified orange juice is available at nearly any supermarket. Note that some calcium-fortified orange juices are also fortified with vitamin D3, typically from a non-vegan source (sheep's wool). However, calcium-only-fortified orange juices are also available:


Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization

Last edited by David3; 05-09-2016 at 12:18 PM.
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#8 Old 05-09-2016, 01:56 PM
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Have you thought about taking a calcium supplement for the duration of the pregnancy? It's obviously not as ideal as consuming it through food but it would be a little extra calcium to alleviate some of the concern.
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#9 Old 05-09-2016, 05:56 PM
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Calcium is a struggle for me, and something I really try to pay attention to, because I have severe osteoporosis. I could not tolerate dairy for years when I was an omni so I avoided it even then. I also have a hard time with calcium supplements as so many of them cause me to bloat terribly, or suffer nausea, or headaches. I have tried vegan calcium powders, liquids, pills, you name it. Right now I am trying to take about 300-500mg of calcium through supplements, and get the rest of my daily calcium needs met through diet (for me I need at least 1500mg of calcium per day as I am in surgical menopause, have osteoporosis, and am on an osteoporosis med that requires my blood calcium level to be at a certain level. So it is imperative that I get enough.

Aside from my supplement, I drink two full cups of plant milk each day. I like to rotate them. Right now I have almond and cashew milks. Sometimes it's flaxmilk, occasionally soy or rice.

Aside from that, other ways I get my calcium needs met...

figs..I eat them for a morning snack.

White beans (usually one cup)...yesterday I made pureed white bean and carrot curry soup for Mother's Day.

low oxylate leafy greens such as bok choy, broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens, kale (usually two cups per day, sometimes more and sometimes slightly less). This morning I sauteed three cups of fresh bok choy with fresh pineapple/pineapple juice and had toast with almond butter for breakfast.

blackstrap molasses. I like to add a tablespoon to hot cereal, or with my sauteed leafy greens, or in cooked vegetables, in homemade bbq sauce or Asian Stir Fry sauce, or I use it in baking bread.

tofu (I make a chocolcate banana tofu pudding in my blender, or scrambled tofu, or blend tofu, sweet potato, and nutritional yeast for a "cheese" sauce over baked potatoes or macaroni)

plant yogurts such as Daiya, SoDelicious, Silk...

I have to watch my soy intake due to being on thyroid meds, but I can still get a good bit of calcium with these other foods and plant milks like almond, cashew, flax, hemp, rice. Sometimes when I travel or do long distance hikes I bring along a single serve almond or rice milk. And when I bring my plant milk to work, I keep a small jar with a tight fitting lid and pour my plant milk in that to bring along to work in a small cooler lunch bag.

So far this is working somewhat, to get most of my calcium from food and a little from supplements. I also take a vegan D3 liquid drops from Nordic Naturals and that has kept my D blood levels in a decent range (40s to 70s). I have this tested every six months before my osteoporosis shot. When I consume low oxylate leafy greens, I make sure to have a source of vitamin c with it also, such as an orange, or strawberries, or bell pepper etc as it helps with absorption of calcium and also the iron in leafy greens (and the iron in Blackstrap molasses). Vitamin D is also crucial for calcium absorption so make sure to supplement that and get a little sun each day, but not too much. Best wishes on your pregnancy! Congratulations!
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#10 Old 05-09-2016, 06:04 PM
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Make yourself a raw kale salad, and use tahini plain, or make a dressing with tahini, olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice and salt (ask for amounts if that sounds good!) This would give you some tasty calcium.
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