Your body needs calcium to build strong bones when you are young and to keep bones strong as you get older. Everyone needs calcium, but it's especially important for women and girls. Many people, including most women, don't get enough calcium.
Osteoporosis (“os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis”) is a disease that makes your bones fragile and more likely to break. Some people don’t know they have it until they break a bone.
One in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Calcium helps to keep your bones strong and less likely to break.
There are 2 easy ways to get your calcium.
Calcium is in foods like:
You can take a multivitamin or a pill that has only calcium. Talk to your doctor before you start taking extra calcium.
Protect your bones – get plenty of calcium every day.
nutrition label highlighting percent daily value of calciumThis label shows a food with 45% DV of calcium.
The Daily Value (DV) on a food label tells you the amount of a nutrient (like calcium) that’s in a serving of the food. Foods that have at least 20% DV of calcium are excellent choices. Foods with at least 10% DV of calcium are good, too.
Take it at the same time every day. For example, take it when you brush your teeth before bed.
Leave the pill bottle out where you will see it, like on the kitchen counter or by the bathroom sink.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb (take in) calcium. Find out how much vitamin D you need each day.
Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin D pills.
Along with eating foods high in calcium or taking a calcium pill, it’s important to eat other healthy foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and foods with protein.
Make a smoothie with fat-free or low-fat milk, fruit, and ice in the blender.
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