Nutrition

Instant expert: Calcium

Jessica Van Haandel
October 19, 2017

We all know that calcium is important for growing kids, but did you know alongside maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet it’s just as important to ensure you continue to get enough of this nutrient throughout adulthood?

It may take you back to the days of your morning glass of milk before school, but calcium plays many key roles in the body, such as helping to support strong, healthy bones and teeth. As we age, calcium requirements may be increased, so it’s important that we are doing what we can to maintain our health.

According to Osteoporosis Australia, not many Australian adults are getting their recommended daily intake of calcium (which is 3-5 serves of calcium-rich foods daily, if you’re interested). Almost 99% of the body’s calcium is found in the bones, however, when the body experiences a deficit of calcium, it withdraws from your “bone bank” to use it for other parts of the body, which can lead to a decline in bone strength.

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More than just milk

“Apart from the most obvious source of calcium – dairy, there are many other ways you can get calcium from your diet,” says Simone Austin, Swisse dietitian. “Green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, as well as fortified soy drink, tofu and almonds are not only a delicious part of our diets, but also a source of calcium”.

Simone’s top calcium tip: “Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Enjoying some salmon or sardines, foods which are a source of vitamin D, alongside a leafy salad packed with plenty of dark green vegetables can help you to get the most value out of your meal.”

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