Why do I need calcium and vitamin D?
Calcium is one of the building blocks of strong bones. Because our bones are being broken down and rebuilt throughout our lives, we need to eat foods with calcium. Over time, this helps to prevent bones from becoming weak. Weak bones are more likely to fracture or break. Your body needs Vitamin D to help calcium be absorbed.
How much calcium and vitamin D do I need?
Recommended amount of calcium per day:
|0 to 6 months||200 mg||200 mg|
|7 to 12 months||260 mg||260 mg|
|1 to 3 years||700 mg||700 mg|
|4 to 8 years||1000 mg||1000 mg|
|9 to 18 years||1300 mg||1300 mg|
|19 to 50 years||1000 mg||1000 mg|
|51 to 70 years||1000 mg||1200 mg|
|Over 70 years||1200 mg||1200 mg|
mg = milligram
Recommended amount of vitamin D per day:
|0 to 1 year||400 IU||400 IU|
|1 to 70 years||600 IU||600 IU|
|Over 70 years||800 IU||800 IU|
IU = International Units
Which foods contain calcium?
Foods high in calcium include milk, yogurt and beverages with calcium added such as soy beverages, orange juice, and rice beverages. Cheese is also a good source of calcium. For other foods, check the label. Calcium has been added if you see 'fortified' or 'enriched' on the label.
Which foods contain vitamin D?
Very few foods have vitamin D in them. Foods with a higher amount of vitamin D include fish, liver, and egg yolk.
Excellent sources of vitamin D are foods and beverages that have vitamin D added to them. Cow milk always has added vitamin D. Orange juice, margarine, and soy beverage usually have it added. For other foods, check the label. You know vitamin D has been added if you see 'fortified' or 'enriched' on the label.
Should I take a Vitamin D supplement?
You might find it difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone. You can take a single vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin with vitamin D in it.
Infants and young children who are breastfed or breastfed and given some infant formula need a Vitamin D supplement of 400IU every day. Adults older than 50 years of age need more vitamin D, and should take a supplement of 400 IU each day.
What if I do not eat dairy foods?
There are many other foods that contain these nutrients. Use the lists of foods here and on the next page to help you choose a variety of foods. If you find it hard to get enough calcium and vitamin D from food, talk to your health care provider about the right type of supplement for you.
Food Sources of Vitamin D
|Food||Serving Size||Amount of Vitamin D|
|Milk||250 mL||104 IU|
|Fortified rice or soy beverage||250 mL||87 IU|
|Fortified orange juice||125 mL||50 IU|
|Fortified margarine||10 mL||51 IU|
|Egg yolk||1egg||32 IU|
|Herring, cooked||75 g||161 IU|
|Trout, cooked||75 g||150 IU|
|Mackerel, cooked||75 g||81 IU|
|Salmon, Atlantic, cooked||75 g||246 IU|
|Salmon, chum, canned||75 g||202 IU|
|Salmon, pink, canned||75 g||435 IU|
|Salmon, sockeye, canned||75 g||557 IU|
|Sardines, Atlantic, canned||75 g||70 IU|
|Sardines, Pacific, canned||75 g||204 IU|
|Tuna, canned, light||75 g||36 IU|
|Tuna, yellowfin (albacore, ahi), cooked||75 g||105 IU|
|Tuna, bluefin, cooked||75 g||219 IU|
Food Sources of Calcium
|Food||Serving Size||Amount of Calcium|
|Milk, whole, 2%, 1%, skim||250 mL (1 c)||291 to 316 mg|
|Milk, evaporated||125 mL (1/2 c)||367 mg|
|Buttermilk||250 mL (1 c)||300 to 370 mg|
|Kefir||250 mL (1 c)||267mg|
|Cheese, hard||50 g||370mg*|
|Processed cheese spread||60 mL (4 tbsp)||348 mg|
|Cheese, processed slices||50 g||276 mg|
|Cottage cheese, 1 or 2%||250 mL (1 c)||146 mg|
|Pudding or custard made with milk||125 mL (1/2 c)||150 mg|
|Yogurt, plain||175 g (3/4 c)||320mg*|
|Yogurt, fruit bottom||175 g (3/4 c)||214mg*|
|Frozen yogurt, soft serve||125 mL (1/2 c)||109 mg|
|Ice cream||125 mL (1/2 c)||89 mg|
|Tofu, made with calcium sulphate||150 g||347 mg|
|White beans, cooked||175 mL (3/4 c)||119 mg|
|Navy beans, cooked||175 mL (3/4 c)||93 mg|
|Black beans, cooked||175 mL (3/4 c)||34 mg|
|Pinto beans, cooked||175 mL (3/4 c)||58 mg|
|Chickpeas, cooked||175 mL (3/4 c)||58 mg|
|Tahini (sesame seed butter)||30 mL (2 tbsp)||130 mg|
|Almonds, dry roast||60 mL (1/4 c)||93 mg|
|Almond butter||30 mL (2 tbsp)||88 mg|
|Sesame seeds kernels, dried||60 mL (1/4 c)||23 mg|
|Sardines, Atlantic canned with bones||75 g||286 mg|
|Sardines, Pacific canned with bones||75 g||180 mg|
|Salmon canned with bones||75 g||208 mg|
|Fortified rice or soy beverage||250 mL (1 c)||320 mg|
|Orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D||250 mL (1 c)||320 mg|
|Regular soy beverage||250 mL (1 c)||65 mg|
|Turnip greens||125 mL (1/2 c)||104 mg|
|Chinese cabbage/bok choy||125 mL (1/2 c)||84 mg|
|Okra||125 mL (1/2 c)||65 mg|
|Mustard greens||125 mL (1/2 c)||55 mg|
|Kale||125 mL (1/2 c)||49 mg|
|Chinese broccoli/gai lan||125 mL (1/2 c)||46 mg|
|Broccoli||125 mL (1/2 c)||33 mg|
|Orange||1 med||52 mg|
|Blackstrap molasses||15 mL (1 tbsp)||179 mg|
|Dried fish, smelt||35 g||560 mg|
|Daylily flower||100 g||301 mg|
|Tempeh, cooked||150g||144 mg|
|Fat choy (black moss), dried||10g||88 to 122 mg|
|Soy bean curd slab, semisoft||100 g||308 mg|
|Soy bean milk film, stick shape||100 g||77 mg|
|Seaweed, Wakame, raw||125 mL (1/2 c)||63 mg|
|Seaweed, dry (agar)||125 mL (1/2 c)||50 mg|
mL = milliliter, g = gram, c = cup, tbsp = tablespoon, mg = milligram
*calcium content may vary, check the label