What is it?

Calcium is a mineral found in food that is essential for building strong bones and teeth.

Why do we need it?

Not only does calcium maintain bone and teeth integrity, it also helps to protect the brain, heart and lungs, maintain the function of muscles and nerves, and is essential during locomotion and blood clotting.

Your doctor or pharmacist may advise you to eat foods high in calcium to avoid low calcium levels. Do not take calcium supplements without talking to your doctor or pharmacist, as some medications and calcium should not be mixed. Your health care professional may recommend that you take a vitamin D supplement as well.

How much do we need?

The recommended daily allowance for both males and females 19 to 50 years old is 1000 mg.

Where is it found?

Foods high in calcium (75-200 mg per serving) include:


  • ½ cup fortified orange juice


  • ½ cup cooked spinach
  • ½ cup bok choy
  • ½ cup cooked kale


  • ½ cup nonfat milk
  • ¼ cup nonfat yogurt
  • ½ oz nonfat cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup pudding
  • 1 cup frozen yogurt
  • ½ cup light ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bread & grains

  • 1 cup fortified cereal

Meat & meat alternatives

  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup navy beans
  • 3 oz canned salmon with bones
  • 3 oz oysters
  • 4 medium sardines


  • 2 oz almonds