Healthy Action Step of the Day: Get Enough Calcium

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Get Enough Calcium. Most people know that calcium is critical for strong, healthy bones and teeth, but very few of us actually know whether we’re getting enough or not. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of this nutrient is 1,000 mg for women 19-50 years of age and 1,200 mg for women 51 and older. Men need 1,000 mg between the ages of 19-70 and 1,200 mg after age 71. If we don’t get enough, we may have low bone mass and be at risk for osteoporosis, which can make our bones more fragile. Since our bodies don’t produce calcium, the best source is our food. This article from Mayo Clinic recommends dairy products; dark green leafy vegetables; fish with edible soft bones such as sardines and canned salmon; and calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as cereal, soy products and milk substitutes.

Since many people don’t get enough calcium, you may want to track it for a few days to see. If you’re not getting enough, you may need to consider a calcium supplement or make sure that your multivitamin has it included. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D (600 mg a day for most adults) because it’s needed for your body to absorb calcium.

If you’re at all in doubt about whether you’re getting enough calcium, track it. This is one nutrient that you definitely don’t want to be short on.

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