Calcium is a mineral that helps keep you body healthy. Calcium is very important for infants, growing children and teens, and pregnant women. This is because calcium builds strong teeth and bones that are formed at those times. Calcium is also important for older women whose bones may weaken (called osteoporosis) if they don’t get enough of it.
A balanced diet helps you get enough calcium in your body. Foods that have calcium include:
Mild and Milk Products: Dairy foods have the most calcium. Milk (any kind), cheeses (any kind), ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, and any foods made from milk products (such as soups and macaroni and cheese).
Meat and protein foods: Salmon and sardines – if you eat the bones in them.
Vegetables: Dark Green, leafy vegetables – kale, collard, spinach, mustard greens, and broccoli.
Breads and Cereal: Enriched and whole grain breads and cereals have small amounts of calcium.
Other foods: Blackstrap Molasses
Extra calcium is often advised for older women. Older women should get about 1500mg of calcium per day. You should eat dairy products each day. Most dairy products have about 300mg of calcium per serving. You should add enough calcium pills which you can buy over the counter so that you get a total of about 1500mg of calcium daily.
When buying calcium, read the labels and look for:
- Oyster shell calcium or calcium carbonate (the same thing).
- Tablets with 500mg or 600mg of elemental calcium.
- Nature Made or Family Independent Pharmacy brands are most often the cheapest.