To maintain strong bones, your body needs the mineral, calcium. But what’s the best form of it to take? Research shows that eating foods that are naturally rich in calcium is safer than taking calcium supplements — especially for older women. The fact is, older women who take higher amounts of calcium supplements (at least 1,000 mg a day) may have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke or kidney stones. So how can you get more calcium into your diet?
The best way to get the amount of calcium your body needs is to eat calcium-rich foods. Also, when calcium is taken at the same time as vitamin D, our bodies are better able to absorb it — that’s why vitamin D is added to milk. Low-fat milk, low-fat, sugar-free Greek/plain yogurt and cheese are some of the best natural sources of calcium.
But you don’t have to stick to dairy. Other good sources of natural calcium include dark, leafy greens, like broccoli and kale, and fish with edible soft bones, such as sardines and canned salmon. By making the right food choices now, you can help keep your bones strong and healthy long into the future.