We may not see the “Got Milk?” ads as much anymore, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about one of the essential nutrients found in milk– calcium. As the most abundant mineral in the body, 99 percent of our body’s calcium is found in our bones and teeth. What about that last one percent? While it may be a small amount, this one percent of calcium is found in blood, muscles, and tissues, helping the body regulate crucial body functions. These include sending nerve signals, releasing hormones to needed tissues, and supporting the heart’s proper functioning and its associated blood vessels.
Getting enough calcium in your diet is crucial throughout your life. Still, there are vital points in one’s life where meeting dietary intake recommendations can better ensure that optimum bone health follows you as you age. These periods include the teen years and the period of middle to late adulthood. So, why is that?
Teens and calcium
Bones absorb more calcium during the teenage years than at any other point in life. Given that bones store essential calcium for the body, it is crucial for children and teens to meet their calcium goals—1,300 milligrams of calcium a day for boys and girls ages 9 to 18 (or about 4 ½ 8-ounce glasses of milk)— to help build adequate stores of calcium for the future.
High calcium food sources include:
- milk and other dairy sources such as yogurt and cheese
- dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale)
- soy-based and other fortified foods (fortified soymilk, almond milk, and orange juice)
- beans (white beans, navy beans)
Be creative! Add kale to your yogurt smoothie. Add cheese and spinach to omelets, beans to soups and chilis, and more. The entire family can benefit from the calcium boost from these fun, easy to make recipes.
Calcium in middle to late adulthood
Although there is a point when the bones stop absorbing calcium, it is still important to keep calcium intake at recommended levels. Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Adults ages 31 to 70 should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. While adults over the age of 70 should consume 1,200 milligrams a day. The recommended calcium consumption, combined with adequate vitamin D (to help the body absorb calcium) and weight-bearing exercise, can help ensure that the body has the necessary calcium to maintain optimal bone health.
Delicious and healthy recipes rich in calcium can keep your bones strong and help you avoid the food-rut that eating basic dairy and soy-based foods can often bring. Many are high in beneficial fiber too!
By establishing a routine of making sure you get enough calcium in your diet, you can better enter your senior years with your building blocks in place. Getting enough calcium will help you maintain your bones’ health so you can continue to live an active life as you age.
For those who eat a healthy, balanced diet, but still find it challenging to get enough calcium from food, calcium supplements may help. Theralogix offers several choices to help you meet your calcium needs.
- TheraCal is a bone health supplement with calcium citrate, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and other key nutrients. It is available in three programs to meet your specific needs based on your vitamin D status.
- CalMag Thins is a calcium and magnesium supplement in easy-to-swallow tablets. Calcium is a very bulky nutrient, which means many calcium tablets are big. Not CalMag Thins. These thin, easy-to-swallow tablets contain calcium and magnesium to support bone health. CalMag Thins is designed to be taken along with another product that provides adequate vitamin D, such as one of our multivitamins, our vitamin D supplements, or our prenatal supplements.
- Prosteon is another bone health supplement that provides calcium citrate, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and other essential nutrients. It is specially formulated to provide nutrient support for men undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy (hormone therapy).
The amount of calcium you need from a supplement depends on how much you get from food. If you eat enough food that is high in calcium, it is possible to meet your diet alone’s daily calcium needs.
Find out whether you are getting enough calcium by using this simple calcium calculator: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/calcium-calculator. This will help you determine how much calcium you are currently getting and whether you need a calcium supplement. Before adding a supplement to your routine, discuss with your healthcare provider to determine what you need to keep your bones strong.