Importance of Calcium Throughout Life
By Maria England
Growing up we heard that we needed to drink milk to be big and strong. However, we didn’t hear how important it was to continue to get calcium throughout our life to keep our bones strong. Calcium is one of the most important nutrients we need throughout life and we often lack it as adults because we stop drinking as much milk as we did as kids.
As adults we should continue to eat calcium rich foods to help keep bones strong. Calcium is stored in our bones and if we do not get enough calcium, it is actually taken from our bones to replenish calcium stores in our blood. This causes our bones to become weaker and can result in them fracturing and breaking later on in life. For women it is very important to get calcium throughout life, especially when they reach menopause, because more calcium is needed during this stage in our life. As for men, their calcium stores decrease as they age and once they turn 70 they need to increase their calcium intake.
How much calcium should we be getting then? For men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 it is 1,000 milligrams per day. As we get older our need for calcium increases and women who are 50 and older need 1,200 milligrams per day, where as for men once they turn 70 they will need 1,200 milligrams per day. So what are good sources of calcium?
One of the best sources for calcium is low fat dairy products or milk substitute foods, such as almond milk or non-dairy yogurt. A cup of skim milk has 300 milligrams of calcium, which is almost a third of your recommended calcium a day. Other great places to find calcium are dark green vegetables, beans, tofu, and almonds. Remember to check labels and if it has 20% or more of the recommended daily value (DV%) then it is high in calcium, if it is 5% or less, then it is a low calcium food.
Another great source of calcium is ABS Pancakes. All of our products have 40% of the recommended daily calcium, which equals 400 milligrams of calcium. Plus when you add the 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk to the pancake mix, it adds an additional 150 milligrams of calcium! This means you start your day off with a little more than half of your calcium needs for the day!
With a better understanding of calcium, it is no wonder it is one of the nutrients we talk about the most growing up. We needed the calcium growing up to build strong bones and as adults we need to make sure to maintain those strong bones by eating calcium rich foods, like ABS pancakes and dark leafy greens!