Tips for getting more calcium

Most adults require at least 1,000 milligrams a day of calcium. Adolescents (ages 9-18) are advised to get 1,300 milligrams a day to build good stores of bone density, and older adults require 1,200 milligrams daily to combat declining bone density. To get more calcium in your diet:

-- Dairy products are usually the best source, but many nondairy milks and orange juices are now fortified with calcium.

-- For fortified beverages, shake well before pouring since calcium can settle to the bottom.

-- For vegans (who avoid animal products), kale, broccoli, collard greens and soy milk are good sources.

-- The calcium in spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens is not so well absorbed because of the high oxalate content in these vegetables.

-- All of the greens listed above are high in vitamin K, also beneficial for bones.

[SOURCE: Jack Norris, RD, “Bones, vitamin D, and calcium,”, last updated June, 2011]

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Last Updated September 14, 2011