Adults, age 19 to 50 years old need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Women older than 50 and men aged 70 and beyond, should increase their daily intake to 1,200 milligrams.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the major sources of calcium in the American diet. Each serving from the dairy group will provide approximately 300 milligrams of calcium. (Choose only nonfat and low-fat milk and yogurt and reduced-fat or skim milk cheeses to reduce the amount of saturated fat in these foods.) Although three servings of dairy foods will just about meet many adults’ daily needs, Americans consume only about 11⁄2 servings of dairy daily, on average.
Broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones (the calcium is in the bones), and tofu that is processed with calcium can also add calcium to the diet. Calcium-fortified foods, such as juices and cereals, are also excellent sources. Spinach, rhubarb, and okra also contain calcium, but these foods are also high in calcium-binding oxalates, so less than 10 percent of the mineral is absorbed in the body.
More Answers from Joan Salge Blake