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Preventing Osteoporosis: Meeting Your Calcium Needs

Woman eating yogurt.

Your body needs calcium to build and repair bones. But it can't make calcium on its own. That's why it's important to eat calcium-rich foods. Some foods are naturally rich in calcium. Others have calcium added (fortified). It's best to get calcium from the foods you eat. But if you can't get enough, you may want to take calcium supplements. To meet your daily calcium needs, try the foods listed below.


Fish & beans

Other sources




Calcium (mg) per serving




Calcium (mg) per serving




Calcium (mg) per serving


Low-fat yogurt, plain


415 mg/8 oz.


Sardines, Atlantic, canned, with bones


351 mg/3 oz.


Oatmeal, instant, fortified


215 mg/1 cup

Nonfat milk


302 mg/1 cup


Salmon, sockeye, canned, with bones


239 mg/3 oz.


Tofu made with calcium sulfate


204 mg/3 oz.

Low-fat milk


297 mg/1 cup


Soybeans, fresh, boiled


131 mg/1/2 cup




179 mg/1/2 cup

Swiss cheese


272 mg/1 oz.


White beans, cooked


81 mg/1/2 cup


English muffin, whole wheat


175 mg/1 muffin

Cheddar cheese


205 mg/1 oz.


Navy beans, cooked


79 mg/1/2 cup




90 mg/1/2 cup

Ice cream strawberry


79 mg/1/2 cup






Orange, navel


56 mg/1 medium

Note: Calcium levels may vary depending on brand and size.

Daily calcium needs

14-18 years old: 1,300 mg

19-30 years old: 1,000 mg

31-50 years old: 1,000 mg

51-70 years old, women: 1,200 mg

51-70 years old, men: 1,000 mg

Pregnant or nursing: 14-28 years old: 1,300 mg, 19-50 years old: 1,000 mg

Older than 70 (women and men): 1,200 mg


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