Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and Vitamin DCalcium is plentiful in the plant world. Good sources of calcium include some dark-green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli, collard greens, and kale), almonds, sesame tahini, calcium-fortified soy or rice milk, some brands of tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice. By choosing these foods instead of dairy products, you can avoid the health risks associated with cow's milk—the Harvard School of Public Health says that dairy consumption is linked to high rates of obesity and ovarian and prostate cancers. Harvard also reports that there is a lack of evidence for a link between the consumption of dairy products and the prevention of osteoporosis—Harvard even cites studies showing that heavy dairy consumption appears to cause bone loss!

Sunshine is one of the best sources of vitamin D. During warmer months, your skin manufactures enough of the vitamin if your face and forearms are exposed to sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes per day. But during colder and cloudier weather, it's important to get some extra vitamin D through a multivitamin or a vitamin D supplement or by consuming vegan foods containing vitamin D. Many brands of soy and rice milks contain both calcium and vitamin D, as do some brands of fortified orange juice. (If you rarely spend time in the sun or always use sunblock, then it's a good idea to get some vitamin D from vegan foods or supplements.)

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