How can I get enough calcium for healthy bones?

Dairy foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese are among the best sources of calcium in your diet. An 8-ounce glass of milk contains 314 mg of calcium -- almost a third of what's recommended for women under the age of 50, and a fourth of what women over 50 need. Try getting calcium from your food throughout the day, and keep in mind that your body can absorb only 500 to 600 mg at a time. If you avoid dairy foods, consider calcium-fortified soy milk, orange juice, cereals, and breads, as well as leafy greens. Just don't rely on leafy greens that are high in oxalates (e.g., spinach, collard greens), a natural compound that interferes with calcium absorption, says Diane Schneider, MD, author of The Complete Book of Bone Health.

If you don't get enough calcium from food, talk to your doctor about supplements. Your doctor can help you decide how much calcium supplementation you need and how to reduce your risk of potential side effects, such as kidney stones.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.