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MEETING YOUR CALCIUM NEEDS

Meeting Your Calcium Needs

Each of the basic food groups contributes nutrients which are necessary for good health.  Meats, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and dried peas, beans, and lentils are high in protein.  Whole grains (wheat, oats, barley, corn) have abundant B vitamins and fiber.  Plant oils (from sunflower, corn, soybean, and safflower) are rich in essential, unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E.  Dairy products are the best source of calcium in the regular American diet.

Calcium is an essential nutrient all through life.  Babies, children, and adolescents need it for normal bone and tooth development.  Adults need calcium to maintain healthy bones.

Women over 45 and men over 60 may develop a condition known as "osteoporosis" (fragile bones) if they have not had a regular amount of calcium in their adult lives.  There are other reasons why adults may develop osteoporosis:

  • 1.       Inadequate Vitamin D
  • 2.     Excessive soda drinking
  • 3.     Excessive protein intake
  • 4.     Inadequate physical exercise
  • 5.     Smoking

Some medications can impede calcium absorption (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, tetracyclines, laxatives, and diuretics).

How Much Calcium Do We Need?

The National Research Council has set Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for calcium for every phase of a woman's life:

Stage             Age            RDA

Infants                 0-6mo          400mg

                            6mo-1yr        600mg

Children               1-10yr          800mg

Adolescents/         

Young Adults       11-24yr            1,200mg

Adults                 25-50                800mg

                            51+           1,200mg

Select Foods High In Calcium

Item

Serving

Ca (mg)

Calories

Almonds

1/3 cup

127mg

273

Garbanzo beans

1 cup*

150

360

Kidney beans

1 cup*

95

200

Broccoli

1 cup*

132

39

Cheeses Cheddar

1 oz

211

112

American

1 oz

195

107

Cottage,2%

½ cup

70

120

Mozzarella Part Skim

 1 oz

 183

 72

Low Moisture

1 oz

205

78

Velveeta

1 oz

163

93

Cheez Whiz

1 oz

132

76

Collards

1 cup

304

60

Dandelion Green

1 cup

280

65

Kale

1 cup

176

36

Milk, whole

8 oz

291

165

2 %

8 oz

298

125

Skim

8 oz

303

80

Cream of Wheat

1 cup

60

140

Molasses

1 tbsp

115

43

Okra

8-9pods

92

29

Oysters

5-8

94

66

Salmon

3 oz

94

200

Sardines

3 oz

372

196

Fruits, Low Fat

8 oz

345

250

Whole plain

8oz

275

170

Turnip Greens

1 cup

252

50

Yogurt

8oz

415

143

 





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