Calcium

White bread and calcium

White bread is a great source of non-dairy calcium, with a single slice containing 49mg. Great news for vegans or anyone who’s lactose/casein intolerant.

What is calcium and why do I need it?

Calcium has several important functions in keeping your body in prime condition. These include to:

  • help build strong bones and teeth;
  • regulate muscle contraction, including your heart;
  • make you blood clot normally.

I’m vegan – how can I get calcium?

Mention calcium, and most of us think of milk, cheese and yogurt, which is great if you eat dairy. But vegans don’t need to miss out. Non-dairy sources of calcium include:

  • white and brown bread/flour;
  • green leafy veg, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra (but NOT spinach);
  • soya beans;
  • fortified non-dairy milks (soy, almond, oat etc);
  • tofu;
  • nuts;
  • some fish, particularly where you eat the bones (eg sardines and pilchards).

How much calcium do I need?

The EU Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of calcium is 700mg. You should be able to get all the calcium you need from your daily diet. On average, bread provides about 18% of our daily calcium intake.

It’s not cool to skip calcium

A lack of calcium can lead to rickets in children and in osteoporosis in later life, particularly for women. So make sure you’re packing your diet with calcium-rich foods, including bread!