Calcium and Vitamin D help reduce the risk of osteoporosis
Calcium is important for bone health, for normal blood clotting, and for proper function of your heart, muscles, and nerves. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all adults receive at least 1200 mg of calcium per day. The typical American diet provides less than 600 mg per day.
Here are some examples of dietary sources of calcium:
- Yogurt, plain, low-fat 1 cup provides 416 mg calcium
- Yogurt, fruit-flavored, low-fat 1 cup provides 345 mg calcium
- Milk 1 cup provides 290-300 mg calcium
- Cheese, Swiss 1 oz provides 272 mg calcium
- Cheese, Cheddar 1 oz provides 204 mg calcium
- Cheese, American 1 oz provides 174 mg calcium
- Collards, cooked ½ cup provides 168 mg calcium
- Turnip greens, cooked ½ cup provides 134 mg calcium
- Spinach, cooked ½ cup provides 84 mg calcium
- Broccoli, cooked ½ cup provides 68 mg calcium
- Sardines (canned, with bones) 3 oz provides 372 mg calcium
- Salmon, pink (canned, with bones) 3 oz provides 165 mg calcium
- Tofu (processed with calcium) 4 oz provides 145 mg calcium
- Farina, enriched (instant, cooked) 1 cup provides 189 mg calcium
The combination of supplemental calcium and Vitamin D reduces the risk of fracture of the spine, hip, and other sites. Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and in bone health. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends an intake of 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin D per day.
- Good food sources of Vitamin D include:
- Vitamin-D fortified milk and cereals
- Egg yolks
- Saltwater fish
Sunlight is also a good source of Vitamin D.