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