What is Calcium?
I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence levels here by explaining what calcium is. We’ve been hearing about it since we were little kids, especially when “Got Milk?” became a household phrase. It helps build our bones at early ages (until around 25), lowering risk of bone-related disease (brittle bones, osteoporosis). It also plays a key role in helping our nervous-system communicate better, and preventing blood clotting. However, taking too much calcium is a bad thing, so always be careful. With all this information about it though, it’s crazy that around 75% of Americans are deficient in calcium - this isn’t just a vegan problem. Everyone knows calcium is found in milk, and dairy products. However, there are plenty of other naturally occurring sources for calcium. First, let’s look at how we can maintain calcium levels.
How do I prevent losing Calcium?
- Watch for sweating - Calcium is always lost when you sweat! While I’m definitely not condoning stopping exercise, be sure to replenish your calcium levels after a good session.
- Keep your skin, nails and hair healthy - Shedding skin cells, broken nails, and falling hair all result in a loss of calcium. Making sure you keep your skin, nails and hair healthy prevent excessive loss of the mineral.
- Everyday functions - All different parts of your body use calcium, so functions you don’t even know are happening result in a loss of calcium. There’s not really much you can do about this - especially if you want to stay alive. This is just to be more aware that your calcium levels are constantly decreasing and that you need to constantly maintain your levels.
Where can vegans get Calcium?
This one is pretty easy actually - there are plenty of naturally occurring resources:
- Nuts and seeds (pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)
- Figs (30mg/2 figs)
- Tofu (~300mg/0.5 cups)
- Collard Greens (350mg/cup)
- Sesame Paste (65mg/tbsp)
- Spinach (30mg/cup)
- Carrots (40mg/cup)
- Kale (180mg/cup)
- Almond Butter (43mg/tbsp)
- Soybeans (175mg/cup)
- Koge provides antioxidants to prevent hair loss, and keep skin and nails healthy to prevent any excessive calcium loss. Check them out for yourself
What is Zinc?
Zinc is incredibly important for both adults and children, even though it serves different functions for each group. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood, it’s important for children to get sufficient zinc to properly grow and develop. For adults, Zinc fortifies your immune system, aids in creating proteins and DNA, and heals wounds. Zinc is most commonly found in Oysters, Red meat, poultry, and some other sea foods.
How do I prevent losing Zinc and improve absorption?
Zinc is another one of those minerals that gets heavily affected by absorption levels. Consuming Zinc with the right types of foods is important; however, most plant-based sources of zinc contain compounds that actually weaken its absorption. Sometimes, you’ll have to consume two times the zinc in order for your body to actually receive the proper amount. Zinc consumed with good protein sources are the best way to go.
Where can vegans get Zinc?
- Baked Beans (6mg/cup)
- Cashews (1.6mg/ounce)
- Chickpeas (2.6mg/cup)
- Almonds (1mg/ounce)
While it’s always better to get your vitamins and minerals from their natural sources, we made Koge Vitamins to help those that either don’t have enough time or don’t have access to sufficient natural sources. Our Antioxidant Collection is particularly good for Calcium and many other deficiencies.
Just to clarify - just because you eat a plant-based diet, doesn’t mean you’ll suffer from these deficiencies. That is a complete myth. These are just some vitamin and minerals that are harder to come across in a vegetarian and vegan diet - and with a lack of education, can result in actual deficiencies. People with animal products in their diet still suffer from some of these deficiencies as well, but that’s because they are more likely to have a poor overall diet. Since vegans are usually more health-aware, it’s always good to know about the various risks of a vegan diet. Everyone’s body is different - something that you should always consider when educating yourself with various articles, books, magazines, or blogs - including this very article :)
About the Author: Andrew Lenjosek is the founder of Koge Vitamins and is always trying to make sure everyone in the world has access to good health through his vitamins and his charity. Check out more on his blog.
*Note from Ange: I encourage you to have your B12 & Iron monitored on a regular basis. In addition to the suggestions given from Andrew - I also recommend a high quality fish oil such as FCLO by Green Pastures, a probiotic supplement while traveling and Vit D in the winter.
To win a container of your choice from the Koge Lineup (choose from Daily Essentials, Antioxidant Collections, Weight Management or Energy Pack), please leave a comment below answering the following:
If you could bottle a superpower what would it be?
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