by Ruth McKean, Sports Nutritionist
Nutrient Concerns for Vegetarian Athletes
Calcium requirements are highest during childhood
and adolescents (with the exception of women who have just
had a child). A combination of inadequate calcium intake
and amenorrhoea ()
in young children and young women has raised concerns about
osteoporosis. See National
Osteoporosis Foundation for more information.
Calcium interferes with the absorption of
iron but calcium and iron are both essential nutrients.
To overcome this, increase your iron intake to increase
the opportunity for uptake. Females who take both an iron
and calcium supplement should take the iron supplement with
meals (i.e. at breakfast with orange juice to enhance absorption)
and avoid calcium supplements with meals (i.e. take these
Vegetarian foods rich in calcium:
Leafy greens such as, spinach and broccoli
Milk, cheese, yoghurts
Fish - sardines, and canned salmon
New calcium-fortified orange juices
Fortified bread, breakfast cereals
Soyabean curd (tofu) but only if made
by calcium carbonate (check food label).
Strategies to meet calcium needs
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