Calcium is a mineral used by the body to keep our bones and teeth strong. It also plays a role in muscle and nerve function, and in blood clotting.
Good sources of calcium include:
- Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese
Smaller amounts can be found in:
- Green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach
- Almonds and brazil nuts
- Fish with small bones like sardines and salmon
- Products with calcium added to them, such as firm tofu, soy milk and some breakfast cereals
It is important to include calcium foods to build your bones while you’re still growing. Not getting enough calcium in your diet can make your body draw it from your bones, which makes them weaker and more easily broken! Not enough calcium at a young age can lead to problems later in life such as osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weak bones.
Try to include foods containing calcium every day.
Truswell, A. S., 2008, ABC of Nutrition, 4th Ed, Australia