Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, with most of the body’s stores found in bone. Together with other minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, calcium provides the strength to bones and teeth. In contrast to popular belief bone tissue is continually remodeling with bone releasing calcium into the blood streams for use in nerve conduction, muscle function and blood clotting. Calcium is needed in the diet to achieve peak bone mass by the end of teenage years. If enough calcium is not available in the diet, bone calcium stores will be drawn upon, reducing the strength of bones.
In 2013 the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommended amount of calcium per day was increased to 1000-1300mg of calcium per day for an adult depending on your age, sex, pregnant or lactating. A serve of dairy provides around 300mg of calcium, 250ml milk, 30g cheese and varies considerably for the type of yoghurt. Rokeby Farms yoghurt is particularly high naturally in calcium with one 170g pot giving more than half your daily needs for most people at 507mg. Calcium is best absorbed from that naturally present in foods.
Smaller amounts of calcium can be found in soy products, nuts and sesame seeds but dairy foods are clearly the richest sources.