The best way to get more calcium is from your diet. You probably already know that dairy products -- such as milk, cheese, and yogurt -- provide calcium. Other foods that are high in calcium include:
- White beans
- Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
- Foods that are calcium-fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
Foods that provide vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
To get vitamin D from food, fish is a good option. Six ounces of cooked salmon has more than 600 international units (IU).
How Much Do You Need?
Here's how much calcium and vitamin D you need every day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
- Children 1-3 years old: 700 milligrams (mg)
- Children 4-8 years old: 1,000 mg
- Children 9-18 years old: 1,300 mg
- Adults 19-50: 1,000 mg
- Women 51 to 70: 1,200 mg
- Men 51 to 70: 1,000 mg
- Women and men 71 and over: 1,200 mg
- Age 1-70: 600 IU
- Age 71 and older: 800 IU
Your doctor may recommend higher levels of calcium and vitamin D, especially if you aren't getting enough of them or are at risk for osteoporosis.