Without sufficient calcium, bones can become weaker, which increases the risk of developing spinal fractures and can hasten age-related conditions like degenerative disc disease. Approximately 50 to 80 percent of adults over 50 don’t get enough calcium, a task that can be even more difficult if your body can’t break down lactose. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of spinal surgeons discuss a few of the ways you can get the calcium you need despite being lactose intolerant.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Soda can especially increase phosphate levels. Too much phosphate can hinder the absorption of calcium.
Consume More Beans
In addition to being high in fiber, beans are also loaded with calcium. Baked beans in particular have more than 150mg of calcium per cup.
Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
A cup of oatmeal will give you about 100 to 150mg of calcium. Oatmeal can also be added to many recipes or mixed in with yogurt for a calcium-rich treat.
Snack on Nuts
Nuts are healthy snacks that also help boost your daily calcium intake. Brazil nuts and almonds offer about 100mg of calcium per serving.
Eat Your Veggies
Dark green leafy veggies like Swiss chard, collard greens, kale, and mustard greens all have a decent amount of calcium. A cup of spinach alone will give you about 250mg of calcium, and you’ll get about 45mg from a cup of broccoli.
Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps increase calcium absorption. Foods rich in vitamin D include beef liver, lean pork, and fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon.
Try Soy Milk
Soy milk, which contains no lactose, can be a nutritious alternative to regular milk for your daily coffee or cereal. A cup of soy milk contains about 60mg of calcium.
The recommended daily calcium intake for adults is between 1,000 and 1,200mg. Women should strive for at least 1,200mg to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. If you’re having trouble with getting enough calcium, talk to your doctor about supplements or consider working with a dietician.
If a calcium deficiency has led to pain in your back or neck, get in touch with The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration to see what your options are for treatment. We perform a wide variety of spinal fusion and minimally invasive procedures. Call our office at 310-828-7757 today to learn how you can start living a pain-free life.