Many Americans don't get enough calcium. Your body needs calcium to build strong bones and help prevent osteoporosis (bone loss).
The best way to get enough calcium is to eat more dairy products. Foods with added calcium and vitamin D can also help — and so can certain vegetables.
Take the list below with you the next time you go food shopping.
Look for fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
- Fat-free or low-fat yogurt (choose options with no added sugars)
- Low-fat cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
- Soymilk with added calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D
You can also get calcium from vegetables like:
- Soybeans (edamame)
- Turnip greens
- Chinese cabbage (bok choy)
- Collard greens
If you buy canned vegetables, watch out for sodium. Read the Nutrition Facts label and choose the option with the least sodium.
If you buy frozen vegetables, check the Nutrition Facts label and choose ones without butter or cream sauces.
Foods with Added Calcium
Check the Nutrition Facts label to look for foods that have 10% or more DV of calcium added, like:
- Breakfast cereal
- 100% orange juice
- Soymilk, almond milk, or rice milk
Foods with Vitamin D
Also be sure to look for foods with Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb (take in) calcium.
- Vitamin D is added to some foods, like milk, breakfast cereals, and juice. Check the Nutrition Facts label.
- You can also get some vitamin D from many types of fish like salmon, tuna, and trout.
Content last updated October 15, 2020
This information on calcium was adapted from materials from the Office of Dietary Supplements and the Office on Women’s Health.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidance Review Committee