Bone loss is not a normal part of aging and yet over 50 million Americans have osteoporosis or poor bone density putting them at risk for osteoporosis. Good nutrition is important for building strong bones throughout a person’s entire life but especially as adulthood is reached. Once the body is around the age of 25 years its’ bone mass could start to decline at a rate faster than it gets built back up. As the body loses old bone cells it needs the right nutrients in the diet to be able to make new bone cells to replace them. One of the necessary nutrients is calcium (along with vitamin D and protein).
Unfortunately, as people age their ability to absorb calcium declines such that by the time they are over 70 years old it could be taking one-third more calcium in the diet to match what is needed by a younger person. So, consider calcium intake as critical to bone health. The often quoted target for seniors to ensure adequate calcium intake is to drink four cups of low fat milk each day. But, someone doesn’t have to be a milk drinker to get their calcium. Besides milk and fluid milk replacements, look for cheeses, yogurt, tofu, sardines and select calcium fortified foods like ready-to-eat cereals or orange juice. Fortunately there is an abundance of options for getting calcium that can be found in all kinds of dairy and non-dairy based products and tasty recipes.
Ref. National Osteoporosis Foundation
NIH Calcium Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet Updated November, 2016