FACT: 99% of the body’s calcium supply is found in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure. Calcium is also important for proper muscle function, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion.
DID YOU KNOW? Calcium is found in many foods, not just dairy products!
How can you add more calcium to your diet?
You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of different foods to your meal, including the following:
The obvious: Milk and milk alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and fortified plant-based beverages (such as fortified soy beverage)
The not-so-obvious: Most Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach are an excellent source of calcium
Fish with soft bones, such as salmon, tuna or sardines are also good sources of calcium
FACT: Almonds, broccoli, kale, avocados, oatmeal and beans are ALL sources of calcium!
Why do we need so much calcium?
The simplest reason is to help maintain strong, healthy bones and to prevent osteoporosis. Calcium is an essential of laying down new bone. Bone is living tissue, that is constantly renewing itself. Although bone is strong and relatively flexible, everyday wear and tear causes tiny structural defects, much like those that occur in the foundations of a building over time. Bone must constantly be rebuilt.
Before you reach thirty, more bone is made than lost; after thirty, this trend reverses, and calcium can help our bodies maintain bone mass.
Women especially need to be aware about this important mineral.
Typically, compared to men, women will make less bone and lose bone at a greater rate. Women who become pregnant also decrease calcium stores during their pregnancy and lactation.
The Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for calcium intake is:
9 to 18 years old — 1,300 mg/day
19 to 50 years old — 1,000 mg/day
Over 50 — 1,200 mg/day
Did you know?
- Calcium is absorbed better in the presence of vitamins C and D
- Calcium absorption is highest in doses ≤500 mg, which means takes 1,000mg of calcium at one time will actually decrease the percentage of absortion.
Try taking 500mg, TWICE a day, instead of all at once!
TIP: Canada’s Food Guide recommends 3 servings of milk and alternatives a day