Calcium and Vitamin D: You can’t use one without the other
Presented to you by: Sarah Recanati MS, RD, CNSC – Livingston Branch
Home Solutions Infusion Therapy
Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients for bone health. Your body is constantly breaking down old bone cells and growing new ones. To fuel bone growth and keep bone density strong you need a good supply of calcium, but you also need enough vitamin D because it is the key in absorbing calcium in the food you eat.
Your body cannot make calcium on its own so it is important to get plenty in your diet. You already know that dairy products are good sources of calcium but here are some other foods that are also high in calcium:
• Soy beans
• White beans
• Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
• Foods that are calcium fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
It's a lot harder to get enough vitamin D from foods. Vitamin D is only found in a few foods and often in very small amounts. Foods that provide vitamin D include:
• Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
• Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
• Beef liver
• Egg yolks
The best way to get vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. Your body will make vitamin D when your skin is exposed for just minutes, but the amount made depends on the time of day, the season, where you live and your skin pigmentation.
Another way to get calcium and vitamin D is through supplements if you cannot get enough through food and sunlight exposure. You should talk to your doctor to see if supplements are right for you.