Calcium is a critical component of our diet which helps to build strong, healthy bones and may help to prevent osteoporosis, kidney stones, and PMS. Surprisingly though, most American’s fall short on their daily calcium intake. The FDA recommends the following:
- 1-3 years old: 500mg daily
- 4-8 years old: 800mg daily
- 9-18 years old: 1300mg daily
- 12-50 years old: 1000mg daily
- >51 years old: 1200mg daily
So what are good sources of calcium? Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are perhaps the best known but other rich sources exist including:
- Dark leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, and turnips.
- Clams, oysters, and soybeans
- Fortified orange juice (which contains the same amount of calcium as milk)
- The small bones of sardines & salmon
- Tofu (often supplemented with calcium)
Some of these contain surprisingly high calcium levels:
- 8 oz Yogurt = 450mg calcium
- 1 cup Milk = 300mg calcium
- 1 cup Spinach = 280mg calcium
- 1 cup Collard Greens = 230mg calcium
- 1 cup Kale = 180mg calcium
- 1 cup Cottage Cheese (low-fat) = 150mg calcium
- 4oz Tofu = 150mg calcium
- 1 cup Turnip = 250mg calcium
Supplements containing calcium carbonate and calcium citrate (like Tums and Viactive) are also a good source of calcium. I always recommend that my clients take these with food since stomach acidity assists in absorption.
- Tums: 300mg Carbonate
- Viactive: 500mg Carbonate
- One-A-Day: 450mg Carbonate
- Solgar (Female Multi): 400mg Carbonate
- GNC Mega: 500mg Carbonate & Citrate
Keep in mind that too much calcium can be harmful so stay below the upper limit of 2,500 mg/day.
NU-TRAIN’s Tip: Calcium-rich Greek Yogurt Dip:
Combine 5 ounces of 0% Total Greek Yogurt with low-sodium dried onion or vegetable soup mix.
Serve with your favorite crudités!