Where Do We Get Protein and Calcium in Plant-Based Diet?

Our health and mental state are closely related to what we take everyday. In China, there is a saying: Illness finds its way in by the mouth. Most of the diseases people get are related to what they eat and their lifestyle. American food, especially animal related diet, has brought severe health issues considering the incidence rate of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, high blood pressure... Plant based diet has been proven to be a healthier way of living by many researches.

When it comes to plant based diet, many people would ask the same question, “Where do you get enough calcium and protein?” This is a typical question of people who think that calcium and protein can only be obtained from meat and dairy food. And also, people think that more protein and calcium intake build stronger muscles and bones. The commercial “Got Milk" strengthens the philosophy.

There is one fact to reflect on:

Countries with the highest consumption of dairy products, such as the United States, Sweden, and Finland, also have the greatest incidence of female osteoporosis. Eskimos, who consume the highest amounts of calcium of any of the world's people, have the highest number of cases of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs relatively infrequently in China, even though they consume very little milk or other dairy products.

The reason is that people get too much protein. When the excess protein is excreted, calcium and other minerals are drained from the body.

There is another fact to reflect on:
The ideal human’s body is slightly alkalinic. Meat and dairy food is acidic and most fruits and vegetables are alkalinic.

Where do Vegans get calcium?
Many plant-based food are good sources of calcium. Especially good sources are dark leafy greens (such as kale, mustard, turnip greens), broccoli, beans, dried figs, sunflower seeds, Black strap molasses, tempeh, and so on.

What do Vegans get protein?
All plant foods contain some amount of protein. Those high protein containing ones are different kinds of grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Do vegetables contain protein? Yes they do. These vegetables contain high amount of protein: peas, spinach, kale, broccoli, sprouts, mushroom, brussel sprouts, Artichokes, Asparagus, potatoes, and corn.

Some research shows that excessive protein results in calcium loss because calcium and other minerals are lost in the urine along with excess protein.

As can be seen, there is no need to worry about whether one can get enough protein or calcium if transferring to plant-based diet. Also, believe in our own body. It knows what it needs and we would know what to eat as long as we do not eat to satisfy our taste desire.

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