Keep Calcium Front & Center

Foods that keep your bones strong

From the day you come into this world until the day you depart, your body needs calcium for strong, healthy bones and to help keep your heart thumping and your blood pumping at a nice, steady pace.

As an infant (up to 6 months), you’ll need 210 mg per day. In your growing years (age 9 to 18), you’ll need 1,300 mg daily. By the time you settle into adulthood, you’ll need 1,000-1,200 mg (after age 50).

Calcium Sources
Copious amounts of calcium can be found in all sorts of tasty treats.

Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, contain between 160 mg and 360 mg of calcium per serving.

While you’ve got the milk out, amp up your calcium intake by splashing it on a bowl of cereal. Calcium-fortified cereals can add 230-1,000 mg of calcium to your diet.

Fans of Southern cooking take note: Black-eyed peas and collard greens are as good for you as your mama said. They can add between 200-350 mg of calcium to a meal.

Soy lovers and vegans can get their daily dose of calcium from fortified soy milk (368 mg), tofu (253 mg), hemp milk (460 mg), and a host of other veggies, including kale (180 mg), turnip greens (250 mg), blackberries (40 mg), and all sorts of beans, including soy and navy beans.

Calcium is as crucial to good health as virtually any other nutrient you can name. Keep it front and center as part of your daily diet for strong bones, healthy teeth, and a happy heart.




Vitamin D & Calcium

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. One of the best natural sources of vitamin D is sunlight as your skin absorbs it and converts the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays into this wonderful nutrient. Vitamin D can prevent osteoporosis and even keep prostate cancer in check.

Some foods naturally contain vitamin D (notably cod liver oil), but because of its importance in our diet, lots of foods, such as milk, are fortified with it.

You can also find vitamin D in salmon, sardines, and canned tuna. Milk, yogurt, and many cereals are fortified with vitamin D, making even the fussiest eaters likely to chow down on this essential nutrient.

Keeper of the Calcium—Cod Liver Oil

One tablespoon of cod liver oil has 1,340 IUs of vitamin D, more than 300 percent of your daily requirement.

But if the words “cod” and “liver” alone aren’t enough to turn off your or your family’s appetites, taken together and paired with "oil," what chance do you have of getting this supernutrient into your diets?

Several, actually. Try these tips:

  • Use cod liver oil in your salad dressing. Mix it with vinegar (apple cider or balsamic) and flavor it with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Make a smoothie. Put a teaspoonful of cod liver oil along with cocoa powder, one cup milk, a tablespoon of agave, and half a dozen ice cubes into the blender, and crush into a healthy slush.
  • Spice up salsa. Try adding a teaspoon of cod liver oil to your salsa to pack some vitamin D and calcium into your nacho noshing.