Nutrition Articles

15 Ways to Boost Your Calcium Intake

Because 85% of Us Don't Get Enough...

You’re careful about calories and fussy about fat. You crunch the numbers and keep track of your daily diet. But how conscious are you regarding calcium, the mineral that keeps both men and women strong and healthy? 

Calcium plays an important role in strengthening bones and teeth. But what many people don’t know is that it also helps muscles and nerves function properly. Calcium isn’t something that your body can manufacture itself, so it relies on your diet to meet its needs. 

Bones and teeth store about 99 percent of the calcium in the body, with the remaining one percent usually found in blood, muscles, and other bodily tissues and fluid. If your body isn’t getting enough calcium from the foods you eat, it will take the mineral out of your bones, essentially robbing them of some of their strength. A calcium deficiency can eventually lead to osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone mass. Because bones are continually repaired throughout your lifetime, it is essential to get enough calcium, no matter your age. Taking care of your bones now will aid you in later years. 

It is currently recommended that adults ages 18-50 consume about 1000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day, while adults ages 51 or older need 1200 milligrams. (It is also worth noting that adequate consumption of vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium.) 

The best sources of calcium are, of course, dairy foods. Just one cup of milk or yogurt contains 300 milligrams of calcium. Other good sources include cheese (200 mg. per ounce) and cottage cheese (77 mg. per 1/2 cup). Use caution with dairy products, however. While you can meet your calcium needs with three to four dairy servings per day, watch out for extra calories and fat. Often, these foods come in non-fat or low-fat varieties, many of which taste just as good as the full-fat versions yet still contain the same amount of calcium.
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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

Member Comments

    Dear Sir/Mam,

    My Mom is 56 years old, now she is suffering from leg and feet pain, she cant stand and walk for more time. I want your Advice wat can i do for my mom, because i cant see her like this, plz suggest me best medication or any other solution , so that i can proceed.

    Kamal Gandhi - 8/31/2015 8:14:51 AM
    Respected sir/madam,
    My name is rani . I m 28 yrs old . I am suffering from severe back pain . I consulted to or tho specialist . They said that I have very low level of calcium in my body . So that's why my bones get weak. So plz recommend me treatment for increase calcium level in body . Plz recommend only homemade treatment thanks . - 12/28/2014 11:09:00 AM
    Milk is one of the few things we consume that's sole purpose is consumption. I am continually astounded with the amount of misinformation there is about milk.

    I am glad to see pudding listed. This is an often missed source. - 9/6/2014 6:49:03 PM
    sir or madam actually iam 26yrs old i will do sales man job since 6yrs in this period i had
    done lot of ejaculation so after that iam geeting standing problem in my job my right knee joint is geeting pain so i leave my sales job i consult with doctor he told me that my knee liagment is having a acl tear that means my nervers are damgae between the middile of two joints of my knee so i got sugery past 4 months before doctar told that in my body calcium is so less and my vitamin d3 levels also so less in my body so after that now iam geeting so pain in my joints its coming sounds when ever iam moving so now sir iam feeling littile bit same symptoms which i had past 4 months before in my
    left knee so sir pls could u sujust me that wat i have to do for this because iam having marrige after two months i had taken lot of calcium pills i had drink milk with all dry fruits but i think its not working i cant even going job also so pls suggest me - 1/27/2014 9:32:05 AM
  • I'm always sad to see dairy as the main source. A trace amount of dairy will kill me. It's hard to find a way to get my daily calcium amount. I was told (after over 25 years of using it) that my asthma meds caused problems with bones and am stuck with all these joint problems now. I'm struggling to get the needed calcium each day. I do take a supplement to help out but it's still hard. I was drinking a lot of almond milk which has plenty of calcium but I can't seem to find it locally as easily as I used to now. - 12/2/2013 1:21:21 AM
  • Dairy products are NOT the way to add calcium. Due to its acidic nature and protein content, the calcium in milk is poorly absorbed. This is why Asian women in cultures that consume little, if any, milk have lower rates of osteoporosis than Western women who drink the most dairy. The spin doctors from the dairy industry make Big Tobacco execs look like amateurs! Another important point: Americans simply need to drink far less soda in order to uptake calcium better. But even when factors like soda consumption are controlled for, dairy is still linked to osteoporosis and fractures. - 10/26/2013 11:43:05 AM
  • I would have like to see a description of how sodas and sugar and acidizing foods leach calcium and prevent uptake. - 7/21/2013 10:42:37 AM
  • I have heard that adding milk to tea interferes with the absorbsion of tea's antioxidants.

    But LOVE all of the other tips - 5/15/2013 9:51:51 PM
    Hannahfish, so glad you shared about the benifits of the Chia seeds. Thank you!

    Blessings! - 1/31/2013 12:39:53 AM
    Just read where Chia Seeds have loads of calcium. Am adding them to my diet as soon as the order gets here!

    Blessings! - 1/31/2013 12:37:09 AM
    Having read articles in the past, and my mother's collection of nutrition books, I know that milk and other dairy products, while they do contain calcium, are not healthy. The calcium, cannot be absorbed in the body when it comes from dairy products. I do recommend green leaves, which are generally healthier (especially organic ones) and other vegetable sources. - 1/23/2013 3:02:17 AM
    The only problem I have with milk or any kind of dairy product like milk is that milk is pasteurized and homogenized which means that is elevated to such temperatures as to kill any enzymes. Milk is enzymatically dead, the human body (our cells) needs these enzymes to assist our cells convert the calcium (or the added vitamin D) so without the enzymes the milk is really just little to no good for your body. Patients with osteoporosis who drink milk and eat yogurt ultimately increase their adipose tissue (fat) while not effecting the advance of osteoporosis. Additionally, pasteurized and homogenized milk is harmful to the development of any newborn and young animal (mammal) including homosapiens, typically compromising the development of the nervous system, among others, ultimately leading to death. The desire for humans to drink milk, in my opinion, is driven by money and politics. Homogenized and pasteurized milk, or anything that undergoes these extremes, truly does NOT do the body any good, unless it is the individuals desire to increase their fat content. Knowledge is power, research via the American medical journal, Johns Hopkins, Don't ask your Doctor or nutritional it's since, unless they are into homeopathic medicine or macrobiotics. Pasture rising and homogenizing milk gives it a longer shelf life. If a lactose intolerant person drank cows milk that was not enzymatically dead (homogenized/past
    eurized) they would suffer no effects at all. - 1/20/2013 3:25:50 PM
  • They mentioned canned salmon but I guess fresh/frozen should also have good doses of calcuim. - 1/19/2013 8:35:25 AM
  • It's also important to keep in mind that calcium cannot do its work properly without the rest of the minerals being somewhat balanced. For instance, magnesium should be in a 1:2 ratio with calcium in your diet (by foods or supplementation or a mix of the two). This means for every 1000mg calcium you take, you should also take in 500mg magnesium. Until I learned this, I never got control of leg cramps (even without exercise), of my higher bp. - 1/18/2013 9:56:39 PM
    So glad HANNAFISH mentioned chia seeds. Love to add them to everything with wonderful benefits in texture, taste and nutrients. - 1/18/2013 7:26:29 PM

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