Why you need it: Calcium maintains healthy bones and teeth, and works throughout the body to regulate muscle function, blood pressure, nerve transmission and many other functions.
Symptoms of deficiency: Osteoporosis, because your body “borrows” from your bones to maintain normal blood levels of calcium. Once you’re past age 50, it’s hard to replace calcium taken from bones.
How much you need: 1,000-1,200mg a day
Average daily intake: About 500-800mg a day
1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 cup fruit: 450mg
1 cup 1% milk with 2 graham crackers: 350mg
1/2 c. ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup strawberries: 337mg
3 small sardines with mustard on crackers: 150mg
1/2 cup white beans: 130mg
1 c. broccoli florets with 1 tbsp. tahini dressing: 80mg