You’ve probably heard that calcium is important for good teeth and bone health. What you may not have heard is exactly how much our bodies require, and how do we get it?
What is the Right Amount of Calcium?
The exact amount of calcium necessary in your diet ranges from age to age. While adults require calcium to maintain teeth strength, children need it to build up strong teeth. In older adults, calcium is often a good way to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Refer to the chart below to see how much calcium you need in your diet.
- Babies and Toddlers (0-3): 500 mg
- Children (4-8): 800 mg
- Pre-Teens and Teens (9-18): 1,300 mg
- Adults (19-50): 1,000 mg
- Older Adults (51 and Up): 1,200 mg
- Young Pregnant or Nursing Mothers (Under 19): 1,300 mg
- Pregnant or Nursing Mothers (19 and Up): 1,000 mg
What Foods Contain Calcium?
It may come as a surprise, but milk isn’t the only way to get the recommended amount of calcium. There are such a variety of calcium-rich foods that anyone on any diet should be able to find a good source. Of course, you should remember that vitamin D is also important to help our bodies absorb calcium.
The following foods are good sources of calcium:
- Cheddar cheese
- White Beans
You can find more specific information on the amounts of calcium per serving of each food in this guide by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.