Calcium Helps Support Healthy Bones, Teeth, Muscle, Hormone and Nerve Function*
What Are the Benefits of Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. Girls reach peak bone density in adolescence and continually lose bone mass over time as they age. A diet that is deficient in calcium increases the risk of developing osteoporosis in later life.
The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.
What Foods Provide Calcium?
Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the main food sources of calcium for the majority of people in the United States.
- Kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are fine vegetable sources of calcium.
- Fish with soft bones that you eat, such as canned sardines and salmon, are fine animal sources of calcium.
- Most grains (such as breads, pastas, and unfortified cereals), while not rich in calcium, add significant amounts of calcium to the diet because people eat them often or in large amounts.
- Calcium is added to some breakfast cereals, fruit juices, soy and rice beverages, and tofu. To find out whether these foods have calcium, check the product labels.