Calcium Ca dairy milk bones teeth vegetarian
4 min read
Calcium is a mineral needed for your bones and teeth, but also to ensure your muscles can contract and relax appropriately. It plays a part in regulating your heartbeat, blood clotting, enzyme functions and transmitting nervous system messages...

We also know that eating enough calcium is essential for the prevention of osteoporosis, and this is particularly important for women. However, more than two thirds of Australian women don’t eat enough (ABS 2015).


How much do we need each day?

Evidence suggests a woman aged 19-50 years needs 1000mg of calcium every day, which is equivalent to eating about 2.5 serves from the milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives food group. One serve is 250mL cow’s milk, 200g yoghurt or 40g cheese. See information here if you choose to consume plant based milks, yoghurts and cheeses.


Food sources of calcium

Traditionally western cultures have relied on animal based dairy products (milk, yoghurt and cheese) for the majority of their calcium intake. Now with people moving towards more plant-based diets and recognising the role ruminant animals and their products are playing in climate change, calcium is one of the nutrients that we need to be mindful of.


Eating enough calcium on a vegetarian diet is usually achievable as dairy products are naturally high in calcium. However, if you're following a vegan diet you need to take extra care. Some plant-based calcium sources include:


  • Calcium-fortified plant-based milks or yoghurts (look for at least 120mg calcium per 100mL milk)
  • Calcium set tofu
  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Sesame seeds and tahini (sesame spread)
  • Broccoli, kale and greens (except spinach)
  • Figs
  • Chia seeds


Plan your meals to help meet you and your families calcium requirements. Access our meal planning support and seasonal low waste meal plans to help you. Become a member today.

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