Managing your daily calcium intake

November 3, 2015

Calcium is a key nutrient that creates healthier bones and helps stave off various health issues, including osteoporosis. Here are some helpful hints for ensuring that you obtain enough calcium daily.

Managing your daily calcium intake

Daily calcium intake

How much calcium your body requires daily varies depending on factors such as your age and whether you are male or female. In general, the older you are, the more calcium your body needs. Daily calcium requirements are also higher for pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as for older women relative to men of the same age.

When considering calcium intake in terms of diet, a basic guideline is to consume three servings per day of calcium-rich products such as milk, yogurt, cheese or pudding if you are aged 51 or older. If you are younger, have two such servings daily. In general, if you consume a calcium-rich food with every meal, you will most likely meet your daily calcium requirements.

Good sources of calcium

Your primary source of calcium should ideally be food and drinks. Milk and cheese are obvious sources, but many people forget about yogurt and fortified soy. Dark green vegetables such as spinach provide a host of benefits, and calcium is one of them. Calcium is even found in canned salmon and other fish that have soft bones.

There are countless other less obvious sources of calcium, although some of them are healthier than others:

  • 1 cup of orange juice provides about 300 mg of calcium
  • 1 soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone provides about 232 mg
  • 2 slices of white bread contain about 106 mg

While it is great if you can meet your body's daily calcium requirements through the food and drinks that you consume, it is also important to ensure that this is done as part of an overall healthy diet.


Calcium supplements are acceptable if food does not provide what you need. You may have to experiment with a few varieties before you find an affordable brand that works well with your body. If you are taking medication related to stomach acid production, calcium citrate rather than calcium carbonate may be the supplement for you. You may also want to look into a supplement that combines calcium with vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption. However, before you start consuming supplements, it is always best to discuss your plans with your doctor.

Ensuring that your body is getting the calcium it needs is an important part of healthy living. So the next time you are planning a meal, think about how you can incorporate calcium.

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