Everyone can benefit from calcium, but women need more calcium than men, especially as they age. That’s because women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, so they need calcium to strengthen their bones. And then there’s menopause, during which bone loss often speeds up. Clearly, calcium is one nutrient you don’t want to skip, even for a day. Fortunately, there are many delicious foods you can eat to get more calcium in your diet, helping you keep your bones and teeth strong for life. Here’s what you need to know as a woman committed to getting enough calcium.
How Much Calcium Do Women Need?
Women need more calcium depending on their age. In general, you need more when you’re older, thanks to menopause. The estrogen drop that accompanies menopause can increase your chance of osteoporosis, which can make your bones brittle. If you want to avoid this—and you should—check out how much calcium you need to be getting:
|19-50 years old||1,000 mg|
|51+ years old||1,200 mg|
Read more about menopause facts to know: 7 Myths About Menopause
What Should You Eat for More Calcium?
If it’s clear you’re not getting enough calcium based on the chart, you can easily change that by adding some calcium-rich foods to your diet. Here are a few ideas to start with:
Dairy is packed with calcium. As long as you’re not lactose intolerant, you can enjoy some of the best calcium-rich, dairy-based foods and drinks, starting with milk. Just 8 oz. of 2% milk will give you about 300 mg of calcium. A serving of low-fat yogurt has about 300 mg of calcium as well, and most cheese has around 200 mg per serving. While it’s true that women need more calcium, it’s pretty easy to meet your goal considering all of your dairy options.
Not into dairy? Find out How to Get Enough Calcium on a Dairy Free or Plant-Based Diet
Dairy isn’t the only calcium-rich food you should be eating. Most leafy greens are known for providing plenty of calcium, too. Bok choy, kale, and broccoli rabe all offer around 200 mg of calcium per serving, while collard greens have 360 mg in an 8 oz. serving. Whether you sauté these vegetables or put them in a salad for dinner, leafy greens are perfect sides to serve since women need more calcium.
If you like seafood, you’re in luck, because a few types of canned fish have a lot of calcium per serving. For example, canned sardines can provide you with 325 mg of calcium in just 3 oz. Canned salmon with bones can give you 180 mg of calcium, while canned shrimp has 125 mg in a 3 oz. serving. Time to open some canned seafood and stir it into your pasta or salad! It’s unfortunate that women need more calcium, but as you can see there are several simple ways to get it!
Not all foods naturally have calcium, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have it at all. These days, many foods are fortified with calcium, making them great for women’s health. For instance, most cereal and instant oatmeal contain calcium. Just check the box and you might be surprised at how much it has, since the amount ranges from 100 mg to 1000 mg per serving. Even orange juice and almond milk are fortified with calcium, giving you some great dairy-free drink options.
By now you should know that women need more calcium than men; but if you can’t see fitting most of these calcium-rich foods into your regular diet, it may be best to take a calcium supplement instead. This way, you know how much calcium you’re getting and you don’t have to worry about drinking milk or eating seafood if you don’t feel like it. With FitFormula, you can count on getting 1,000 mg of calcium per packet, which you can stir into your favorite drink or add to the foods you already eat every day. Try it for 50% off as soon as you’re ready to start increasing your calcium intake!
Get more ideas on what women should eat to stay healthy: Calcium-Rich Foods You Should Eat Every Day