Calcium is an important mineral that everyone needs, but it is especially important for women. It is not only needed to keep your bones strong but it is also needed to help blood vessels and muscles contract and expand. And it also helps send messages to the nervous system and helps secrete enzymes and hormones.
As women age, it is vitally important to make sure you are getting enough calcium, through both diet and calcium supplements. During the menopause transition, a significant amount of bone loss occurs which leads to fragile bones and osteoporosis. Because of the significant bone loss, when a fracture occurs, the recovery time frame is much longer and can lead to loss of independence, not to mention, a decreased quality of life. Calcium supplements have also been shown to help lower the risk of colon cancer in women.
It is recommended that women from ages 19-50 years old consume 1,000mg of calcium per a day. And for those 51+ it is recommended to consume 1,200mg of calcium per a day. A calcium supplement may not be necessary if you are able to get it from other sources such as food, however, it all depends on your lifestyle and unique dietary needs.
Here are some sources of calcium other than a supplement:
- Cheddar cheese- 1 1/2 oz contains 306mg of calcium
- Collards (can be frozen or boiled)- 1 cup contains 357mg of calcium
- Sardines (canned in oil with the bones)- 3oz contain 324mg of calcium
- Yogurt (plain, low fat)- 1 cup contains 415mg of calcium
- Yogurt (fruit, low fat)- 1 cup contains anywhere from 245mg-385mg of calcium
- Non fat milk- 1 cup contains 306mg of calcium
- White chocolate- 1 cup contains 338mg of calcium
- Ricotta whole milk cheese- 1 cup contains 509mg of calcium
- Ricotta part skim milk- 1 cup contains 669mg of calcium
- Spinach (can be frozen, boiled)- 1 cup contains 291mg of calcium
There are many more foods that contain calcium and can be found on the USDA website or by consulting with a nutritionist. Keep in mind just because the items have calcium in them does not necessarily mean it is a healthy option. Always take care when considering calcium in relation to sugar, sodium, calories, and fat.
If you are not certain if you are consuming enough calcium, you can take a calcium supplement that is about 500mg or less per a day to boost your intake. At OVitaminPro.com, we offer calcium supplements like Ostinol and CalPlex to help you care for your bones and up your calcium intake.
And if you are still unsure if your body is receiving enough calcium you can always speak to a healthcare professional for other alternatives, supplementation options, and dietary information.