Your body needs calcium to build strong bones when you are young and to keep bones strong as you get older. Your body needs calcium to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis (bone loss). Everyone needs calcium, but it’s especially important for women and girls.
Girls ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 mg (milligrams) of calcium every day.
Women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium every day.
Women over age 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium every day.
Calcium can help prevent osteoporosis (weak bones).
One in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis (“os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis”). Some people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone.
Calcium helps to keep your bones strong and less likely to break.
Calcium: Shopping list
Take this list with you the next time you go food shopping. Keep these tips in mind for getting enough calcium:
Foods with at least 20% DV (daily value) of calcium are excellent choices. Check the nutrition label to see the % DV. Foods with less calcium will also help you meet your daily calcium goal.
Don’t forget vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body use calcium. You can get vitamin D from salmon, tuna, and some foods with added vitamin D (like milk, breakfast cereals, and juice). Check the label.
Milk and Milk Products
Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products. (Lactose-reduced milk products are also good sources of calcium.)
Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
These green vegetables can be a great way to get more calcium. If you buy them canned, look for choices that say “low sodium” or “no salt added”. If you buy frozen vegetables, choose ones without butter or cream sauces.
Kale or turnip greens
Foods with Added Calcium
These foods often have added calcium. Check the % DV of calcium on the label to be sure.
Tofu made with calcium
Orange juice with calcium
Fat-free or low-fat soy-based drinks>