If your mom or any other female relative above the age of 50, has complained of weak knees or joint pains, you are not alone. Ever wondered how so many people, especially women, over a certain age complain of these kinds of health problems? Osteoporosis in which there is a reduction in bone density and tissue deterioration can even lead to serious problems like fractures. According to statistics, 1-2 women and 1-4 men over 50yrs will experience osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Dr Sachin Bhonsle, Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Mulund explains, “Women are especially more prone to osteoporosis as they have smaller, lighter bones than men. Calcium plays an integral role in the overall health of a person and is said to be the key building block for the bones. Getting enough calcium in the diet is very effective in warding off osteoporosis. According to Rasika Parab, Head of department, Nutrition therapy, Fortis Hospital, Mulund 1000mg of calcium is recommended daily for individuals aged 19 to 50 yrs, 1200mg daily for individuals over 50yrs, and 1500mg for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Here are some easy ways to up your calcium intake according to Rasika.
1) Milk is the more easily available and easily absorbable form of elemental calcium. Milk and milk products like curd, paneer, buttermilk, cheese, must be included in adequate amounts to fulfil daily calcium needs.

2) White til is also one of the good sources of Calcium. White Til chikki and laddoo can be included in the diet. White til can also be added in mukhwaas.

3) If you think having your milk tea will give you enough calcium, you are mistaken. Calcium should never be eaten along with foods like tea and caffeine that are rich in tannin because it destroys calcium.

4) Vitamin C helps with calcium absorption in our body. Citrus fruits like Orange, Sweet Lime, Lemons, and fruits like Amla & Guava are good sources of vitamin C.

5) Calcium also requires fat for its absorption in our body, and hence add adequate amounts of fats to your diet. Add a spoonful of ghee to your dal and rice.

6) Til (sesame) chikki, white Til laddo, milkshake, buttermilk, lassi, Paneer halwa, Paneer pulao, Shrikhand, Basundi, ice-cream are very good sources calcium.

7) Including 2 glasses of cow’s milk every day fulfils adequate calcium intake among children between 1-9yrs of age, whereas consuming 2 big glasses of milk, 2cups of curd or buttermilk provides more than half the amount of required calcium in the diet for pregnant women.