Vegan? Lactose intolerant? Too old to wash down dinner with a glass of whole milk? Careful: Cutting back (or cutting out) dairy means skimping on one of the top food sources of calcium.
Bone health is so important for men, says Connie M. Weaver, M.S., Ph.D., distinguished professor and head of the Department of Nutrition Sciences at Purdue University. Stores of calcium in bones and teeth play a leading role in keeping them strong. And, research has shown that even later in life, getting adequate calcium—along with vitamin D to help the body absorb the mineral—can help prevent fractures.
Most dietary guidelines recommend getting calcium and vitamin D from foods—natural or fortified—over supplements, because whole foods provide other nutrients, too, says Weaver. But if you’re not hitting your mark—guys age 20 and up should aim for 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day and 600 international units of vitamin D—between meals and snacks, choose a supplement that helps you make up the difference.
Meanwhile, eat more of these 10 foods. They’re some of the top dairy-free sources of calcium (and most have a hefty amount of vitamin D, too).