All those times that our caregivers told us to drink our milk so that we would grow to be strong and healthy may have known what they were talking about. Our bones not only provide structure for our bodies, they also protect our organs and anchor our muscles.

Calcium is a key component of healthy bones and strong bone mass, and it is a factor in the reduction of bone diseases such as osteoporosis, a disease of the skeletal system that leads to bone fractures in the wrist, hip, and spinal bones.

Calcium is a type of mineral that cannot be produced by the body. That means we are responsible for making sure our bodies are provided with the calcium it needs. It is important to not only ensure that you are receiving the right amount of calcium your body requires, but to also understand the various foods that contain it.

There are many good food choices that contain the calcium our bodies need:

  • dairy products such as low-fat or non-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt
  • vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, beets, and turnips
  • calcium-fortified cereals, orange juice, breads, powdered drink mixes, instant oatmeal, and honey graham snacks
  • almonds and sesame seeds
  • many types of beans - pinto, red, cranberry, great northern, or navy
  • calcium supplements may also be another source for making sure your body has sufficient amounts

Marlene Veloso