Calcium: Getting More in the Diet!

How much calcium is needed each day? Have you been told you have osteoporosis? Do you need to take a calcium supplement to get more each day?

According to the National Institute of Health, calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, and critical metabolic functions! Everyone needs adequate amounts of calcium each day to survive. Resistance training programs can help increase calcium utilization and consuming a well balanced diet can aid in adequate intake – however; there are some foods you can eat more frequently if you are concerned about inadequate calcium intake!






0–6 months*

200 mg

200 mg



7–12 months*

260 mg

260 mg



1–3 years

700 mg

700 mg



4–8 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg



9–13 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg



14–18 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

19–50 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

51–70 years

1,000 mg

1,200 mg



71+ years

1,200 mg

1,200 mg



* Adequate Intake (AI) -This chart from the National Institute of Health summarizes the daily adequate intake for calcium. Without taking a supplement; you could reach your daily intake by adding in more of the listed foods below each day! Always consult your physician if you are concerned about a possible calcium deficiency or disease.

  • Look to juice!

Switch from regular fruit juice to a calcium-fortified juice, but watch your serving size. The calories from juice can add up fast!

  • Milk powder can help!

Mix 1 quart of milk with 1 cup (C) of dry milk powder. Use just as you would regular milk. This will contribute extra calcium to the diet!

  • Fruit Yogurt Dip

Make a fruit dip using 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt, 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) of sugar (or an equivalent amount of sugar replacement), a dash of cinnamon and 3 Tbsp of orange juice concentrate (make sure it is calcium fortified).

  • Dried figs.

Add some dried figs to your frozen yogurt, salad, hot cereal, or snack mix.

  • Beans have Calcium!

Add beans to your favorite soups and casseroles. Look for new recipes containing beans. Beans are also a great source of protein and fiber to keep you more full.

  • Tofu

Don’t be afraid to try tofu! The important thing is to make sure that you choose a product that is calcium-fortified. Tofu essentially has no taste, taking on the flavors of whatever other foods it is cooked with. You even can add silken tofu to a fruit smoothie or milk shake.

  • Frozen yogurt!

Choose frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Look on the label to ensure that it is frozen yogurt and not just added sugar!

  • Salmon

Make salmon burgers, but not from boneless salmon—you actually want to consume the tiny bones. Salmon canned with tiny bones can contribute additional calcium to the diet. It is safe and delicious to consume.

  • Cottage cheese and Yogurt

Use cottage cheese in place of ricotta cheese in your favorite recipes. Add yogurt to breakfasts and snacks.

  • Reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream

Top your baked potatoes, tacos, etc with reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream.

  • Bread

Choose a bread that is fortified with calcium.

  • Try Almonds!

Add almonds to your favorite baked goods or eat them whole.

  • Fortify your milk!

Add Carnation® Instant Breakfast or Ovaltine® to your milk. This will be extremely beneficial if you do it after a workout!

  • Cereal

Choose a calcium-fortified cereal, such as General Mills Total®.

  • Reduced-fat cheddar cheese!

Top your chili, baked potatoes, casseroles, crackers, or tacos with reduced-fat cheddar cheese. String cheese makes a great snack also!

If you are in need of dietary assistance to increase your intake of calcium, or any other nutrient- be sure to contact a Registered Dietitian! At Fitness Together – we work to formulate a healthy resistance training program along with dietary counseling with our RD to help you achieve health. For more information be sure to visit our website at or call (330) 702-1311.


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Posted by on February 4, 2013. Filed under Nutrition,Supplements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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