If you want a healthy smile, you need to consume the proper amount of calcium each day.
Calcium is an important nutrient, and 99% of your body’s stores are your bones and teeth.
We’ve all heard about the importance of calcium, but how much exactly do we need, and where can we get it?
How Much Calcium Do I Need?
The amount of calcium you need in your diet depends on how old you are, but everyone needs it. Babies, children, and teenagers need calcium to build strong bones and teeth; while adults of all ages need calcium to maintain strong teeth and bones.
In addition to protecting their teeth, older adults need to increase their calcium intake in order to minimize their risk of osteoporosis, a dangerous condition that results in weakened bones.
Check out the list below to find out how much calcium you and your family need per day:
- Babies and Very Young Children (0-3): 500 mg
- Young Children (4-8): 800 mg
- Older Children and Teenagers (9-18): 1,300 mg
- Adults (19-50): 1,000 mg
- Older Adults (51+): 1,200 mg
- Pregnant and Nursing Mothers Younger Than 19: 1,300 mg
- Pregnant and Nursing Mothers 19 or Older: 1,000 mg
What Foods are Good Sources of Calcium?
You probably know that dairy products are a great source of calcium, but the other foods on the list may surprise you!
Keep in mind that calcium goes hand-in-hand with vitamin D—you need vitamin D to be able to absorb calcium.
Adding a few of these foods to the daily menu will help you build a calcium-rich diet:
- 1% Milk: 305 mg per cup
- Greek Yogurt: 187 mg per most single-serving containers
- Cheddar Cheese: 202 mg per slice
- Collard Greens: 268 mg per cup
- Broccoli: 86 mg per 2 cups
- Kale: 101 mg per cup
- Edamame: 98 mg per cup
- Okra: 82 mg per cup
- Oranges: 74 mg per large orange and 27 mg per cup of orange juice
- Sardines: 351 mg per 3.75-ounce can
- Canned Salmon: 232 mg per half can
- White Beans: 63 mg per half cup
- Tofu: 434 mg per half cup
- Almonds: 75 mg in 23 whole almonds
If you’re having trouble getting started, check out this list of delicious and calcium-rich recipes!