How to Eat: Up your intake of calcium and vitamin D. Although we believe that we should get the bulk of our nutrients from the foods we eat, most women, especially those watching their weight (hence, cutting back on calories), are often not getting enough calcium or vitamin D in their daily diets. After menopause, women should aim to get 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily. Women aged 19 to 50 need a little less: 1,000 mg a day.
Research shows that calcium and vitamin D help keep bones strong: in one large study, postmenopausal women who took calcium and vitamin D supplements regularly had fewer hip fractures. Calcium and vitamin D may also help with weight management—possibly stimulating the breakdown of fat cells and suppressing the development of new ones.
Calcium-rich foods you should try to work into your diet: low-fat yogurt (1 cup = 415 mg), low-fat milk (1 cup = 295 mg), calcium-fortified orange juice (1 cup = 500 mg), sardines (3 ounces with bones = 270 mg), canned salmon (3 ounces = 270 mg), broccoli (1 cup, cooked = 60 mg), firm tofu (1/2 cup = 227 mg). If you’re not getting enough calcium from food, talk to your doctor about a supplement that contains calcium and vitamin D, as D helps you absorb calcium.