30-50: Maintain, Maintain, Maintain
50+: Minimize the Loss, Strengthen Supporting Muscles!
Young people should know that you have up until around age 30 to make your bones as strong and dense as they can be. After that it’s important to practice good maintenance habits such as consuming calcium and Vitamin D rich foods, getting regular weight-bearing exercise, not smoking and limiting alcohol. For women, once menopause hits, bone density loss accelerates, so the more you can do to maximize bone strength up to that point, the better off you are. Every age group should strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support healthy bones, but it becomes even more important as we enter older adulthood. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation 50 percent of females and 25 percent of males over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis.
How Much Do You Need?
Most adults need between 1000-1200 milligrams per day. It’s best to spread it out over the course of the day for better absorption. The majority of our calcium, 99 percent is stored in the bones and teeth but it is also important for muscle contraction, nerve messaging and hormone balance. If you’ve seen these charts before, skip to the end for a few sample menus on how easy achieving the 100 percent target can be.
|Food or Beverage Item||Serving Size||Calcium (milligrams)|
|Carnation Instant Brkft.||1 serving||500|
|Yogurt, Greek, Low Fat||1 cup||400|
|Juice, Orange with Calcium||6 ounces||250|
|Milk, Skim or Low Fat||1 cup||300|
|Pizza, Cheese||1 slice||180|
|Cottage Cheese, Low Fat||1 cup||155|
|Soy Beans||1 cup||130|
|Yogurt, Frozen||½ cup||105|
|Salmon, Canned||¼ cup||100|
|Mineral Waters||1 cup||100-150|
|Macaroni and Cheese||1 cup||90|
|Tortilla||1, 7 inch||60|
|Collard Greens||1 cup||50|
How Are We Doing?
Not very good, according to the National Institute of Health, groups with intakes falling below 50 percent of their estimated average requirements include boys and girls ages 9-13 years, girls aged 14-18, women aged 51-70 years and both men and women older than 70 years. In general, females are less apt than males to get adequate calcium from food.
Facts and Myths
Caffeine: It has limited impact on calcium absorption. One cup of brewed coffee causes a loss of only 2-3 milligrams of calcium. According to Felicia Cosman, senior clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation there is no like between caffeine consumption and an increase risk for fractures.
Soda: One diet or regular soda per day is not going to have a negative impact on your bones. Some studies suggest that the phosphates in soda are associated with reduced bone mass but this is more apt to be the result of replacing other calcium rich beverages with soda.
Beer: A mineral, silicon found in barley and hops may help bones grow and develop but that is not a green light to drink up. Moderation is key because excessive alcohol consumption does reduce calcium absorption and inhibits enzymes in the liver that help convert Vitamin D into its active form
Smoking: There is a direct relationship between smoking and decreased bone density. In addition, smokers tend to share other risk factors such as being of thinner frame, greater alcohol consumption, less physically active and poorer diets.
If you are concerned about whether you or a family member consumes the recommended amount of calcium each day, go to WebMd http://www.webmd.com/diet/calcium-food-calculator/default.htm and try their Calcium Calculator app.
Consuming adequate calcium isn’t difficult it just needs to be intentional.
|Samples Menu 1||Sample Menu 2|
|1 cup low-fat yogurt fruit parfait (400)1, 7 inch cheese quesadilla (520)1 ounce almonds snack (95)||Breakfast cereal with ¼ cup milk (500)1 cup spinach salad with ¼ cup salmon and 1 ounce cheese (580)|