As you may already know, calcium plays an important role in strengthening bones and teeth. In addition, calcium helps your muscles and nerves function properly as well. Unfortunately, calcium isnt something that your body can create itself, so it relies on your diet to meet its needs. Keep in mind, a calcium deficiency can eventually lead to osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone mass as well.
Here's some ways to increase your calcium consumption:
Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes.
Grate low-fat cheese over soups and salads.
Enjoy a smoothie made with yogurt.
Use milk instead of water in soups, breads, sauces, or salad dressings.
Try plain yogurt as a vegetable dip.
Stir some nuts into a yogurt cup as a snack.
Include leafy vegetables in baked casseroles such as lasagna.
Buy juices and cereals fortified with calcium.
Substitute plain low-fat yogurt for recipes that call for sour cream.
Take a daily supplement, available in capsules or chewable tablets.
As you can see, taking care of your bones now will aid you in later years. It is currently recommended that adults ages 18 50 consume about 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day, while adults ages 51 or older need 1,200 milligrams (mg). The best sources of calcium are dairy foods so eat up!