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Be Vegan For A Month    
  • Day 13: Cows Aren’t the Only Source of Calcium
  • Daily Nugget: Calcium milligrams per 100g of butter: 20; whole milk: 118; chickpeas: 150; collard greens: 203; sesame seeds: 1,160; hijiki seaweed: 1,400

    Chickpeas, hijiki and sesame seeds are all rich in calcium.

    Is a little nagging birdie on your shoulder chirping “calcium, calcium, are you getting calcium?” We love birdies, but not that one! Tell him that yes, as long as you’re following a balanced, varied vegan diet and are eating good sources of calcium every day, you should be fine. Want a little extra insurance? Feel free to take a vegan calcium supplement just to be sure.

    Calcium is important for vegans and non-vegans alike. Luckily, we don’t need dairy products to get it. Think about it: humans aren’t the only primates who need calcium, but we are the only species on the planet who: a.) drinks milk into adulthood and b.) drinks the milk of another species! So, where do other primates get calcium? From plants! So can we.

    Collard greens, kale, broccoli, navy beans, calcium-fortified OJ, fortified soy, rice, nut, hemp or coconut-based milks, calcium-set tofu, blackstrap molasses, and sesame seeds are all sources of calcium. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of caffeinated beverages, which leach calcium from the bones, and to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption.

    Today, make a dish with kale or broccoli and reach for a glass of calcium-rich almond milk. And stay off the dairy cheese bandwagon. Feeling ambitious? Switch to decaf coffee or decaf green tea instead of your usual cup o’ joe. By now your diet should be so full of clean energy, you won’t (completely) miss the caffeine!