Calcium has always been synonymous with bone health; get the right amount and you might be less likely to break a bone or get a bone-weakening disease called Osteoporosis.
The average adult (19-55 years) is meant to get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. To put this into perspective a glass of regular milk contains about 300 milligrams of calcium. An ounce of cheese or a cup of yogurt offers anywhere between 200-300 milligrams of calcium. In theory, this means that a person would need to consume at least three servings of dairy products every day to meet this daily calcium requirement.
But what if you don’t eat dairy products? Are there other ways of meeting your daily calcium needs?
Although dairy is an exceptional source of calcium, this bone-building mineral is also fortified in many foods today. Juices, breakfast cereals, and non-dairy milk beverages like almond milk, soy and coconut milk can be fortified with calcium, offering just as much as a glass of milk, and sometimes even more per serving!
It is also worth noting that calcium is not the only nutrient linked to sustaining bone health today. We now know that a combination of nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin K, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and magnesium work collectively to support the health of our bones, each playing a unique role in reducing Osteoporosis risk.
Keep in mind that when comparing products for calcium to check the ‘Nutrition Facts’ label to be sure as not all juices and plant-based milk beverages are fortified with calcium.
Where you don’t need to check a label is your green vegetables. These are naturally high in calcium (as well as vitamin K and potassium) so eating more collard greens, spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbages can really help boost bone-building nutrients! Calcium is also exceptionally high in canned salmon and sardines…but the caveat here is that you have to eat the bones to get at that calcium! Salmon and sardines are also wonderful sources of protein, vitamin D, and phosphorus…all bone-building worthy!
Finally, keep in mind that this isn’t just about diet. An active lifestyle including regular exercise – especially resistance training and weight bearing exercise – is also important in the treatment and prevention of Osteoporosis.
So keep active and enjoy a variety of foods for the very best support of bone health!