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Boning Up on Calcium

Why do you need 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day? It builds your baby-to-be's teeth and bones, and it may benefit pregnant women with high blood pressure.

Your prenatal vitamin will supply about 300 mg. If drinking three glasses of milk a day doesn't tempt you, here are some alternatives:

  • Disguise it. Add a tablespoon of chocolate syrup to milk, whip up a smoothie by blending in some fruit, or make a dairy-based chowder.

  • Find other sources. These foods are calcium-rich: pasteurized swiss cheese (one ounce contains 204 mg calcium); low-fat vanilla yogurt (one cup, 418 mg); canned salmon (3 oz, 181 mg); and cooked spinach (one cup, 245 mg). And many juices are fortified (300 mg).

  • Go lactose-free. For those who are lactose-intolerant: Try rice or soy milk, though look for brands that have been enriched with calcium and vitamin D. Aged hard cheeses, such as cheddar, swiss, gouda, and parmesan, have a low-lactose content, which makes them easier to digest.
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