Are you getting enough calcium? Maybe you think you are. Maybe youâ€™re not sure. Regardless of your viewpoint, calcium is essential for building strong and healthy bones. Itâ€™s recommended that children and teens get about 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day and that adults get about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Lack of sufficient calcium can lead to osteoporosis (brittle bones), a disease that is often associated with old age. However, even teens and young adults can be at risk for osteoporosis. Risk factors that increase the likelihood of osteoporosis include: being Caucasian, being female, irregular menstrual cycle, lack of regular exercise, low body weight, smoking, high alcohol intake, family history of osteoporosis, and lack of calcium-rich foods in regular diet.
Looking for ways to get more calcium? Try these options:
- Do more dairy. Go for low-fat milks, cheeses, and yogurts to boost your intake. Just one cup of milk has about 300 mg of calcium.
- Chow down on broccoli and kale (theyâ€™ve got 43 mg and 90 mg of calcium respectively - per cup).
- Eat more salmon. A three-oz can of salmon has up to 180 mg of calcium.
- Try pinto-beans (one cup = 70 mg of calcium).
- Choose almonds for a snack (a half cup and youâ€™ll up your calcium intake by 188 mg).
- Look for calcium-fortified foods. Orange juice and certain cereals (such as Total and Raisin Bran) are often fortified with up to 300 mg of calcium.
- Try a calcium supplement. Check out Source Naturals, CCM Calcium 300 mg 120 Tablets. Worried about your kidsâ€™ calcium intake? Give â€˜em Nutrition Now, Rhino Calciums Soft Calcium Chews Chocolate 75 Chews (they really taste like chocolate!).
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