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Plant-Based Calcium

Ido Zivli

Ido Zivli

How to keep our bones healthy! 

The importance of calcium for our bodies

99% of the calcium in our body is found in bones and teeth. The other 1% can be found in blood and body tissue and is crucial for muscle function. Our bones function as calcium reserves for the body in times of shortage. When our diet doesn’t supply the needed amount of calcium, the body “taps” into the calcium in our bones and uses it to maintain a proper amount of calcium in blood and muscle, and any excess calcium leaves the body through urine. Therefore, long-term calcium deficiency can cause bone loss and diseases like osteoporosis.

Let's Try Vegan, together.

Let's Try Vegan, together.

Sign up & join over 250k who've already taken the 22 day vegan experience
Sign up & join over 250k who've already taken the 22 day vegan experience
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Health/nutritional condition

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Crohn's disease or Colitis
Sadly, the Challenge is not suited for people with Crohn’s/Colitis, since people who have those diseases require a personal dietary consult when transitioning to veganism. Veganism can be suitable for most people with those diseases (and in some cases even help prolong remission), but the transition is usually best done gradually and carefully.

The Challenge 22 program cannot serve as a replacement for a personal consult with a dietitian who specializes in this field. You can use the group and the program for recipe ideas and useful tips related to the vegan lifestyle, but do it while being mindful of your digestive system’s symptoms. For example, if legumes such as beans and chickpeas cause you unpleasant symptoms, it’s best not to eat them before your personal consult. In any case, we recommend contacting a dietitian specializing in gastro and veganism, and receive personal guidance.

In order for us to approve your participation in the group, we need your approval on the following text:
I
understand that transitioning to veganism using the Challenge 22 program by Animals Now is not a replacement for a personal consult by a dietitian specializing in gastro diseases and veganism. I also understand that for most people with digestive system issues such as Crohn’s or Colitis it is best to transition to veganism gradually and with guidance from a professional. I understand that the Challenge’s program can aid in gradually changing to a plant-based diet in terms of recipe ideas and various cooking and lifestyle tips, but it is not the program’s main goal.
Bariatric surgery
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Less than a year ago
Sadly, Challenge 22 is not suited for people who recently went through bariatric surgery, since those people need personal guidance by a clinical dietitian who specializes in bariatrics as they transition to veganism. This is because the transition is usually best done gradually and carefully in order to avoid intestinal blockage or any nutritional deficiencies.

The Challenge 22 program cannot serve as a replacement for a personal consult with a dietitian who specializes in this field. You can use the group and the program for recipe ideas and useful tips related to the vegan lifestyle, but do it while being mindful of your digestive system’s symptoms. For example, if legumes such as beans and chickpeas cause you unpleasant symptoms, it’s best not to eat them before your personal consult. In an case, we recommend contacting a dietitian specializing in gastro and veganism, and receive personal guidance.

In order for us to approve your participation in the group, we need your approval on the following text:

I
understand that transitioning to veganism using the Challenge 22 program by Animals Now is not a replacement for personal consult by a dietitian specializing in gastro diseases and veganism. I also understand that for most people who recently went through bariatric surgery it is best to transition to veganism gradually and with guidance from a professional. I understand that the Challenge’s program can aid in gradually changing to a plant-based diet in terms of recipe ideas and various cooking and lifestyle tips, but it is not the program’s main goal.
Over a year ago (with no special complications)
Usually, transitioning to veganism is not a problem when you’ve had bariatric surgery in the past. However, we do recommend consulting a dietitian who specializes in veganism and bariatrics alongside the program.

Irritable bowel syndrome, bloating or other digestion sensitivity
Veganism can sometimes aid in cases of digestive system discomfort. However, a drastic/fast change in your diet can sometimes actually worsen your symptoms. Usually, for people with digestive system issues it’s best to transition to veganism gradually and with personal guidance from a professional who specializes in veganism and digestive issues.

The Challenge 22 program cannot serve as a replacement for a personal consult with a dietitian who specializes in this field. You can use the group and the program for recipe ideas and useful tips related to the vegan lifestyle, but do it while being mindful of your digestive system’s symptoms. For example, if legumes such as beans and chickpeas cause unpleasant symptoms, it’s best not to eat them before your personal consult.
Eating disorder - anorexia or bulimia (past or present)
Sadly, anorexia and bulimia are medical conditions that we can not take responsibility for in Challenge 22. A present eating disorder, but also a past one, is a condition that requires close personal guidance by a professional while going through dietary changes, and the Challenge program cannot supply this kind of guidance.

It’s important for us to make it clear that the reason that the Challenge cannot take responsibility for your condition is out of concern for your health. Transitioning to veganism while having an eating disorder is possible, but requires the help, approval and personal guidance of professionals who know your situation well (dietitian, psychiatrist and/or other physician).
Eating disorder - other type
Sadly, Challenge 22 is not suitable for people with eating disorders, since they require personal guidance by a clinical dietitian while transitioning to veganism, and it’s usually recommended that they do the transition gradually. The Challenge program is supported by dietitians, but it cannot replace personal consult by a dietitian. The group and program can aid in recipe ideas and tips related to the vegan lifestyle, but it has to be done with great care and while setting an appointment with a dietitian who specializes in eating disorders.

In order for us to approve your participation in the group, we need your approval on the following text:
I
understand that transitioning to veganism using the Challenge 22 program by Animals Now is not a replacement for a personal consult by a dietitian specializing in eating disorders. I also understand that for most people with eating disorders it’s best to transition to veganism gradually and with guidance from a professional. I understand that the Challenge’s program can aid in gradually changing to a plant-based diet in terms of recipe ideas and various cooking and lifestyle tips, but it is not the program’s main goal.
Other medical condition that may affect your diet (for example, cancer, diabetes, high blood fat, etc.)
Veganism can be healthy in almost every medical condition, and in some cases may even be an advantage. However, if you have a medical issue that affects your diet, it’s important to make your transition to veganism with guidance from a dietitian who specializes in veganism, and, even better, one who also specializes in your specific medical condition.

In order for us to approve your participation in the group, we need your approval on the following text:
I
understand that The Challenge program is supported by dietitians, but it cannot replace personal consult by a dietitian who specializes in veganism.
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Challenge 22 : Terms of Use

I am hereby informed and aware that my participation in the Challenge 22 group, including all content published in the group, i.e. questions and answers, explanations and tips - is not a substitute for professional counseling (nutritional, medical or other), and that the responsibility to eat a healthy, balanced diet rests exclusively with me, the participant.

Animals Now and the Challenge 22 team will not be held accountable for any health problem or other issue which can occur as a result of bad nutrition or conduct during my participation in the Challenge 22 program. Additionally, I am aware that the medical and nutritional information given in the program is general and cannot take into account specific conditions or personal requirements of each participant.

The Challenge 22 program, in itself, cannot be an exclusive framework for people with diseases or with special health/nutritional/mental conditions, such as eating disorders, gastrointestinal or digestive diseases, bariatric surgery and pregnancy. In these cases, it is highly recommended to get additional personal counseling with an appropriate healthcare professional, in place of or in addition to participation in the Challenge 22 program.

*If you have any special requirements and are in need of personal support, you may consult with one of the program mentors regarding the appropriate professional to reach out to.

* Challenge 22 was created and is run by Animals Now, an NGO based in Israel.


Online guidance by mentors & registered dietitians

Friendly & supportive environment   

Plenty of fabulous recipes

Free!

Free!

Online guidance by mentors & registered dietitians

Friendly & supportive environment

Plenty of fabulous recipes

Over 250,000 already participated

How much calcium do I need?

Daily calcium requirement depends on who you are. Your age, sex, and other characteristics affect your daily calcium requirements. Generally, adults need about 600-800mg per day. 

Where can I find plant-based sources for calcium?

Contrary to popular belief, cow’s milk isn’t the only or a crucial source for calcium. There are many plant-based sources of calcium that can be used to make quick snacks or elaborate delicious meals! Here are some: 

  • Soy is naturally rich in calcium. Many soy products such as tofu and soy milk are fortified in addition to their natural levels of calcium.
  • Legumes, especially white beans and soybeans. Sprouting the legumes can improve the availability of calcium in them to make sure we absorb the calcium we consume.
  • Nuts, especially almonds, are also a good source of calcium.
  • Unhulled sesame tahini contains up to 10 times more calcium than ordinary white tahini.
  • Green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, green beans, and leafy greens are a great source of calcium.
  • Flax seeds are a good source for calcium, in addition to being a good source of omega-3.
  • Fruits such as figs, oranges, carob, and carob-based products.
  • Whole grains, especially oats.
vegan pad thai
This vegan pad thai contains tofu and a variety of nuts making it rich in calcium

Summary and recommendations:

  1. The daily calcium requirement for adults generally ranges between 600-800mg per day.
  2. Eating fruits and vegetables frequently, especially leafy greens, can help with calcium absorption. They contain minerals, such as magnesium, that help with absorption from food, as well as lower the rate of calcium loss from the bones.
  3. Physical exercise is highly recommended for overall health, but can also improve bone density.
  4. Consuming the recommended amount of plant-based protein is important as well. The bones in our body contain significant amounts of protein, and protein deficiency can cause bone loss over time. However, it’s unlikely for vegans who consume a sufficient amount of grains and legumes to suffer from protein deficiency. 
  5. Low levels of vitamin D can cause bone loss in both kids and adults, so it’s important to keep track of those levels. Our body can produce vitamin D in a sufficient amount if we expose it to sunlight for 30 minutes a day without sunscreen. You can also take a vegan supplement if your vitamin D levels are low. 

Want to know more? Feel free to ask our dietitians at Challenge 22 – it’s free! 

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