Calcium is an important building block for bones and teeth and can aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. A common question asked by many women is: what’s the recommended calcium intake for women?
Are you getting all the calcium your body needs each and every day? There are many different ways you can get extra calcium into your diet so that you can reach the recommended calcium intake for women.
What Does Calcium Do?
Calcium is very essential both for the maintenance and growth of the teeth and bones in the human body. Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough calcium and over the long term, this can lead to weaken bones, joint problems and osteoporosis. Guidelines for how much calcium a woman needs, at every stage of life, hasn’t changed much in the past ten years, but there are definite guidelines for how much a woman needs to maintain healthy bones.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
At younger ages the amount of calcium needed is much lower than later in life. This is mainly due to the amount of food and other nutrients needed at a younger age. Between birth and five months of age, only 210mg a day is needed and that value goes up to 270 between 6 and 11 months of age. This much calcium can be obtained in a single cup of milk a day, which makes it very easy to meet these numbers for the first year of life.
Between the ages of one and three, the amount of calcium needed goes up to 500mg a day. At this stage the bones in the body are growing at a much more rapid rate and need all the extra support they can get. Between the ages of four and eight, the amount is 800mg and this is an easy number to reach because many children’s cereals as well as other foods targeted to children are fortified with calcium. This makes it easier for children to get the calcium they need during these crucial years of development.
Once a woman hits the age of nine years and up, the amount of calcium varies only slightly:
- 9 to 18 Years: 1,300 mg per day
- 19 to 50 Years: 1,000 mg per day
- 51 and up: 1,200 mg per day
- 50+ years for women not on HRT: 1,500 mg per day
Hormone Placement Therapy
The amount of calcium needed after the age of nine is very similar throughout a person’s lifespan, unless you are over 50 and not on Hormone Replacement Therapy. Hormone Replacement Therapy has a direct effect on the amount of calcium your body will need. HRT, combined with calcium, can help prevent osteoporosis and continue with the protection of bone mass and density. Without HRT, a woman 50 and over will need the extra calcium to help maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Where Can You Get Calcium?
It’s easy to get the needed amount of calcium in your diet with servings of dairy such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Other foods from which calcium is obtained are vegetables such as broccoli and also tofu. A very popular calcium supplement suggested by doctors is Tums. Tums provide 300mg of calcium.
If dairy is something you have trouble digesting or simply don’t care for, there are many calcium-fortified products at the grocery store. Take a look at food and drink labels to discover which have the best amount for your particular needs.