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What Does Your RDI Look Like: Calcium

Drink Your Milk. Milk Does a Body Good. Got Milk?

Alright already, so we know we are supposed to be getting calcium daily, and dairy products do contain this valuable mineral, but you can find calcium in many other foods including broccoli, almonds, salmon, and fortified orange juice. Try to get your calcium from the food you eat, rather than supplements, since a new study shows that it's better for your bones.

For women over the age of 19, we should be getting 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. It is also vital in daily body functions like muscle contraction and relaxation, blood clotting, and the transmission of nerve impulses. Our bodies do not produce it, so we need to get it from the foods we eat, or from supplements. If we don't get enough, our bodies will drain calcium from our bones, leading to osteoporosis.

Are you getting enough? To help you figure that out, I made a chart listing a variety of foods and the amount of calcium they contain. To check it out

Food Amount Amount of Calcium in mg
Milk 1 cup 300
Hard cheese (cheddar) 1 oz 240
Nonfat or 1% cottage cheese 1 cup 155
Plain yogurt 6 oz 290
Ice cream 1 cup 218
Tofu 1/2 cup 258
Fortified soy or rice milk 1 cup 300
Fortified orange juice 1 cup 300
Black beans 1/2 cup 38
Pinto beans or chick peas 1/2 cup 40
Sesame seeds 2 tbsp 180
Tahini (sesame seed butter, used to make hummus) 2 tbsp 130
Almonds 1/4 cup 93
Almond Butter 2 tbsp 86
Brazil nuts or hazelnuts 1/4 cup 55
Bok choy 1/2 cup 75
Kale 1 cup 94
Broccoli 1 cup 178
Celery 1 cup 54
Cooked green beans 1 cup 58
Cooked butternut squash 1 cup 84
Cooked sweet potato 1 cup 70
Naval orange 1 medium 56
Raisins 2/3 cup 53
Dried figs 5 medium 135
Sardines (canned) 8 medium 370
Salmon 3 oz 180
Oysters (canned) 1/2 cup 60
Shrimp (canned) 1/2 cup 40

Can you get too much calcium? Yes, if you are consuming more than 2,500 mg a day from food and/or supplements, it can interfere with the absorption of zinc, iron, and magnesium. It may also increase the risk of kidney stones. So check your diet and make sure you're getting the right amount.


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