Your body needs calcium to build strong bones when you are young and to keep bones strong as you get older. Everyone needs calcium, but it’s especially important for women and girls.
- Girls ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 mg (milligrams) of calcium every day.
- Women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium every day.
- Women over age 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium every day.
Calcium can help prevent osteoporosis (weak bones).
One in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis (“os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis”). Some people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone.
Calcium helps to keep your bones strong and less likely to break.
How can I get enough calcium?
There are 2 easy ways to get your calcium:
- Eat foods with calcium every day, such as:
- Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Broccoli, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables
- Tofu with added calcium
- Soy-based drinks (soymilk) with added calcium
- Orange juice with added calcium
- Take a calcium pill every day. You can choose a pill that has only calcium or a multivitamin with calcium. Let your doctor know you are taking extra calcium.
Check out this list of foods that are high in calcium.