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Getting Calcium in Your Diet

There’s no question that we need to take in enough calcium every day to build strong bones and keep them that way. The question is: what’s the best way to get enough?

It has been said that our sewer systems are full of calcium. We’re popping supplements-and then excreting calcium four to six hours later, often relatively undigested and unabsorbed by our bodies. Or we’re spending significantly for supplements that claim to be highly absorbable.

It makes the most sense to get as much calcium as possible from the food you eat. The bonus, of course, is that getting calcium from your diet can be delicious and relatively inexpensive.

The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health provides great information about calcium requirements from childhood to old age and a good short list of calcium sources.

Here are some of the calcium “stars”:

  • Plain, low fat yogurt at 415 mg. of calcium per cup
  • Sardines, canned in oil, 324 mg. of calcium per 3 ounces – it’s the bones with the calcium!
  • Nonfat milk, 320 mg. per cup
  • Fortified orange juice, 200 – 260 mg. of calcium per ¾ cup
  • Fortified soy milk, 80 to 500 mg. per cup
  • Black-eyed peas, 106 mg. per ½ cup
  • Small white beans 65 mg. per ½ cup

If you can’t seem to get enough calcium in the food you eat, you are not alone. You may need a calcium supplement to reach your daily requirement. Do a quick survey of the calcium you take in through your food for a week. If you are consistently not meeting your daily calcium requirements, you will need a supplement.

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What to know about bone health
and fracture prevention during COVID-19

  • Remove fall dangers in your home.
  • Stay physically active, and at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Eat for proper nutrition, and take a supplement if needed to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Stick with your osteoporosis medicines and ask your doctor for extra if you’re unable to go to the pharmacy.
  • If you are due for Reclast, there is little concern about delaying for a few weeks or months.
  • If you take Prolia or Evenity injections, don’t miss your appointment.  Some facilities offer “drive-through” injections. Check with your doctor.
  • Bone density testing can be postponed, if necessary.
  • Speak with your doctor about the possibility of telephone and video visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page with steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching the virus if you have a chronic illness.

Be well. We are here for you if you have any questions.