The following diagram roughly gives you your daily dietary intake of 700mg of calcium.
If you are on bone medication and can boost this to 1200mg, you may not need a calcium supplement.
Along with non-dairy sources of calcium you can probably boost your calcium intake through diet alone and you may not need a calcium supplement.
It is not recommended to exceed 2500mg of calcium a day, as it can affect your heart and the absorption of iron and magnesium.
Vitamin D is required to help the body absorb calcium; you cannot get sufficient from your food alone. The best source is safe skin exposure to sunshine (April – October). If you don’t lead an active outdoor lifestyle, or have to cover your skin for medical or religious reasons, you may need a vitamin D3 supplement. Ask your GP.
Eating for your bones should be part of a healthy balanced diet that includes a wide variety of foods from the four main groups. These are:
- Fruit and vegetables (fresh, juiced, dried, frozen or tinned)
- Bread, cereals, pasta and potatoes
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat, fish, eggs and alternatives e.g. baked beans
Your skeleton is a support structure that is alive and if it is to remain strong, your lifestyle needs to include small amounts of regular “bone-friendly” physical activity e.g. short brisk walks.
Everyone should be able to increase their level of activity. It is never too late to improve your bone health through regular weight bearing exercise, but if you have osteoporosis or have broken a bone, you will want to know which exercises are safe and effective.
Certain exercises/activities may not be suitable for people with very fragile bones particularly if they have had a spinal fracture. These include vigorous high impact exercises such as jogging or skipping, or activities involving twisting, or lifting heavy weights. It is important to work with a physiotherapist or an exercise therapist to assess your individual needs, particularly if you have already fallen and are afraid of falling again.