Calcium is essential for healthy bones, but it does so much more. Calcium is required for normal muscle and nerve function and your blood to clot properly. A calcium deficiency is bad news because it can lead to osteoporosis or osteopenia.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day based on age.
Milk and other dairy products are well known for their calcium content — that’s why they make up one whole food group — the United States Department of Agriculture says adults should get three cups of dairy products in their diet every day.
But not everyone can consume dairy products or just choose not to eat or drink dairy products. Does avoiding dairy put you at risk for not getting enough calcium? Maybe, but not if you indulge in non-dairy foods that are naturally high in calcium or fortified with this vital nutrient. Flip through the slideshow to see 15 of my favorite calcium-rich, cow-free foods.
Excepted from nutrition.about.com