Foodie Friday: Calcium

Welcome to Foodie Friday!  This week I am concentration on Calcium, especially as related to CKD.  If you read this blog then you already know I do not eat dairy, or very little to none. If I had to guess I eat dairy maybe twice a month.   I never could find a milk substitute that I like either.  About a year ago, my kidney doctor found out I was taking a Vit D 3 supplement, that also had Calcium in it.  I did it that way because most vitamins upset my stomach, and Vit D 3 was no different.  But, taken with Calcium in it, no stomach issues.  He said I was putting myself at risk for Cardiac Disease because Calcium is excreted in the kidneys, and can easily build up in the arteries.    I told him I understood that, but I do not eat dairy so feel like I need to get some Calcium from somewhere.  He did not agree, so I stopped taking and just took the Vit D 3.  Since that time, I have had two mild bone related injuries.  Since I do not want Osteoporosis, but I don’t want Cardiac Disease either,  I did some research on how much someone with stage 3 CKD should be consuming.

1000 mg is the recommended amount, whether you have CKD or not. My Calcium levels are normal, so that is good.  Women over 50 are advised to get 1200 mg.  I will stick with 1000 mg for my own personal self.   Apparently Calcium is a pretty complicated mineral, and little studies have been done on the issue, go figure.  I can tell you on a plant based diet, without dairy, there is no way I am consuming 1000 mg of Calcium per day, maybe half that if I am lucky, and I mean lucky.  So, now I have to start paying attention to how much I am consuming.  According to one website Calcium is very often in DV percents on food labels.  So, if the label says the amount per serving is 30% of the DV, then you are consuming 300 mg per serving.  Calcium is not just for bones, though mostly that is true, it also aids in blood clotting, and aids in muscle contraction, including the heart.

So, besides dairy which foods are rich in Calcium?  Oranges, believe it or not, are very high in Calcium.  Spinach, and other leafy green veggies.  Crucifers, so Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Broccoli.  Bok Choy, Soybeans, White Beans, some fish which I don’t eat either, and a lot of cereals and juices are fortified with Calcium.  I did recently start wanting cereal for breakfast, especially on the 2 days I work out of the home.  So, I found a healthy almond cereal, almonds are also rich in Calcium, and believe it or not Great Value Almond Milk Vanilla Flavor, I really like, and it tastes great on the cereal.  I can’t ever see just drinking it out of a glass, but on almond cereal it is good.  1 cup of the milk has 35% of DV of Calcium.  So, that would be right around 300mg per cup.  I drink a lot of smoothies, so I will start using the Almond Milk in my smoothies.  If I find I am having a hard time getting enough Calcium in my plant based diet, I will start eating the cereal with Almond Milk every morning.  This weekend I will be putting out my calendar availability for March, for client sign ups.  I will also be starting a new special for March.  You can still take advantage of the February deal, 10% off the one month plan, for all new clients.