It’s important for everyone to get enough calcium, but women are especially at risk for calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis and decrease bone health later in life. Even though there is calcium in many of our favorite foods, it can still be difficult to meet the recommended daily allowance for the important mineral.
Dairy products provide calcium, but people with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance and vegans need to look to other food sources to fill their calcium needs. Foods high in calcium include: almonds, broccoli, spinach, cooked kale, canned salmon with the bones, sardines and tofu.
To incorporate more calcium into your diet try some of the following tips:
Low-fat dairy: If you eat dairy products, you can consume them daily to fill your calcium requirement with low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Stonyfield Organic Yogurt is high in calcium and does not have any artificial ingredients. If you don’t like to drink milk, even adding some to your morning cereal or coffee will help you start your day right.
Calcium supplements: If you aren’t able to eat dairy, you can take calcium supplements. Before you pop pills or vitamins, talk to your doctor about other medications you might be taking that can interact with calcium supplements.
Dark leafy greens: Kale and broccoli have 179 and 94g. calcium per serving, respectively. If you think you don’t like leafy green veggies, try them again. Try Brown Rice and Kale Pilaf or Broccoli Bacon Salad.
Eat a moderate amount of protein: Studies have shown that eating large amounts of protein (in professional athletes and weight lifters) can deplete the calcium from your bones. Consuming larger-than-normal amounts of caffeine, salt and carbonated beverages can also affect calcium absorption, so indulge in moderation.