Why a vegetarian diet is abundant in calcium- without that glass of milk

This isn’t an article about how ethically wrong it is to drink cow’s milk, it’s an article about when I freaked out yesterday morning, that perhaps I wasn’t meeting my calcium needs on a vegetarian diet. So I started frantically writing down the  staple foods I ate each day (while my coffee went cold). Sadly, many of us have grown up to believe we have to drink a glass of milk a day, in order to sufficiently meet our calcium needs. And I’m here to tell you that’s just the BS words straight from the lips of marketing giants in the dairy industry. 

Do I eat dairy? Yes. But pretty scarcely in my diet. In the past six months I swapped my Vegetarian dietWPI (whey protein isolate straight from the cow)  to a rice/pea blend. I read some pretty scary studies on women who consumed high amounts of dairy, which I wrote about in
my article here. As I have a protein shake almost daily, I wanted to reduce my intake. All of my milks are coconut or rice etc, which in case you’re wondering, do contain calcium. And I very rarely touch tofu or other soy products as I don’t think they’re any good for your body hormonally. 

So here’s a quick look at common daily foods I eat, and why it didn’t take long to realise I had nothing to worry about, in terms of meeting my daily calcium needs. You too, might be a little surprised at the random foods that contain calcium: 

    • One cup of miso 157mg
    • 1/2 cup edamame 54mg
    • 1 cup oats 187mg
    • 3x coffees 14mg
    • 1x apple + 1x banana (medium) 16mg
    • 2x fried egg 28.5mg
    • 2x boiled eggs 50mg
    • 1x cup spinach 29mg
    • 1/2 cup lentils 20mg
    • 1/2 cup rice 7.9
    • 1x slice wholemeal bread 30mg
    • 1/2 cup chick peas 40mg
    • 1/2 tbs tahini 33mg
    • 4x broccoli florets 30mg
    • 100ml coconut milk 120mg 
    • 2tbs chia seeds 177mg
    • 1 cup quinoa 82mg 

Total= 1075mg

In addition, from time to time I will have a few slices of cheddar cheese (400mg of calcium in 4x slices). 

Although I’ve just brushed the 1000mg recommended daily, I’m sure there are many other foods  that I consume throughout the day, that I wouldn’t have had a clue contained any calcium until I looked them up. With 2.2 millions Australians being affected by osteoporosis, and 200 million women worldwide, it’s pretty important to evaluate your own diet and see how you stack up in the calcium scores. That’s what I love about selective diets, you tend to be a lot more watchful of certain aspects such as iron, protein, B12 or calcium, than if you just ate anything and everything.