Osteoporosis Foundation
A Lifetime of Strong Bones
Calcium-rich Diet

In order to stop Osteoporosis before it strikes, a healthy diet that provides recommended daily Calcium is necessary.  Besides a healthy diet, daily physical activity is also needed to prevent Osteoporosis.

If your daily diet alone does not provide adequate Calcium, it is recommended to take a multi-vitamin supplement that contains Calcium and Vitamin-D.

These Calcium Calculators developed by the Department of Health and Surgeon General help determine the amount of Calcium anyone needs - Babies, Toddlers, Children, Teens and Adults - on a daily basis.  Calcium is not only found in most of the Dairy foods, but also Soybeans, Tofu, Orange juice, Salmon, Pudding, Sardines, Oatmeal, Beans, Cereals, Cheese Pizza and more.

What is interesting to note is the growing need of Calcium during the Tweens (ages 9 through 12) and Teens years (ages 13 through 19).  Whereas children (ages 4-8) need about 8 Points of Calcium each day, Tweens and Teens need the most Calcium each day, 13 points totally.  Hence, it is of utmost importance that Parents ensure that their Tweens and Teens obtain adequate Calcium during their growth years; also, they need to do one hour of physical activity every single day in order to build strong bones that will last them a lifetime.  Young adults also need adequate Calcium during their Twenties and early Thirties, since the human body is still making stronger bones during this time. 

What about vegetables?  Can vegetables be a good source of Calcium?

Turnip greens, Broccoli, and Spinach are your best bets for Calcium. Lasagna Spaghetti and Cheese Pizza are also good sources of Calcium.

If you enjoy breakfast though and want to obtain most of your Calcium for the day in one meal, many of the breakfast cereals, waffles and breakfast bars are good sources, and are enriched with Calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

If you are lactose intolerant and cannot take Dairy foods, most of the Soy milk and Rick milk also provide Calcium equivalent to the Dairy milk.  Just make sure that they also contain Vitamin-D along with the Calcium.

The good news is that nowadays, lot of foods, dairy, non-dairy and juices are enriched with Calcium.  The next time you go grocery shopping, look for Calcium under ther nutrients list.

How much Calcium your body needs each day?  The following table indicates the amount of Calcium a growing body needs daily. The highest amount of Calcium is needed during the Tween and Teen years: ages 9 through 19.

Finally, Vitamin D is essential for Calcium absorption in the body.  As can be seen, the amount of Vitamin D required for Calcium absorption grows with age.  If you get adequate sunlight, taking a walk out in the sun with light clothing for about 30 minutes gives you enough Vitamin D for the day.  However, if you do not have the time to walk out or don't get sunlight, most of the milks, orange juice and multivitamins provide some or all of the daily Vitamin D need.

Healthy Diet alone does not Stop Osteoporosis.  Don't forget daily physical activity, and getting tested for Osteoporosis.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004