Tuesday 6 December 2016

Up calcium intake for teens

Published 07/04/2015 | 02:30

The recommended calcium intake for children and young people aged from 11 to 18 is 800-1,000mg compared with 700mg for adults. But research shows that, on average, children and young people in this age group don't get enough.

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Our bodies contain about 1kg of calcium. About 99pc of this is found in our bones and teeth - it's what makes them strong. Most of this calcium is laid down during childhood and the teenage years.

Calcium is particularly vital during puberty when the bones grow quicker than at any other time.

Foods that contain lots of calcium include dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, but also tinned sardines (with the bones in), green, leafy vegetables (but not spinach), peas, dried figs, nuts, seeds and anything that's fortified with calcium, including some soya milks.

Vitamin D is important for bones because it helps our bodies to absorb calcium. Our main source of vitamin D is sunlight.

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