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Your calcium needs

Calcium is an essential nutrient to boost overall health. Our bodies use calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth, and this mineral also helps our muscles function. Along with a fitness routine and vitamin D, calcium may help reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis (“brittle bones”) in later years.

How much calcium do you need?

According to Health Canada, the average adult aged 19 to 50—including pregnant and breastfeeding women—needs 1,000 mg per day.

Younger pregnant and breastfeeding moms aged 14 to 18 should aim for 1,300 mg per day.

Other medical experts recommend 1,500 mg per day for all pregnant and breastfeeding women .

Many women fall far short of these guidelines, so make it your goal to increase your calcium consumption, particularly if you’re still nursing.

What foods are rich in calcium?

The best dietary sources of calcium are: dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), canned fish (with bones), fortified soy products and dark green vegetables.

Check here for the calcium contents of various foods worth working into your daily diet.

 Food   Mg of calcium/serving
Yogurt (1 cup)

 275 to 400

Calcium-fortified soy milk (1 cup)  200 to 400
Canned sardines with bones (3 ounces)

 370

Ricotta cheese, part skim (1/2 cup)  340
Milk: skim, 2% or homo (1 cup)  290 to 300
Canned salmon with bones (3 ounces)  285
Swiss cheese (1 ounce)  272
Cooked spinach (1 cup)  240
Cheddar cheese (1 ounce)  204
Cooked broccoli (1 cup)  180
Cottage cheese, low-fat (1 cup)  154
Tofu (4 ounces)  154

Do I need a calcium supplement?

Not if you’re getting enough calcium from the foods you eat. But calcium supplements (or a daily multivitamin like Life Brand Spectrum Pro) can help otherwise. Life Brand calcium supplements (also containing vitamin D) come in many forms, including chewable squares, gummies, tablets, and capsules.

Make sure you get enough calcium now, and you can help protect your teeth and bones for years to come. Talk to your Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist if you have any questions about selecting the right calcium