Recommended intake for adults, in milligrams per day (recommended calcium allowances based on North American and western European data):
- Adolescents, 10–18 years - 1300 mg / day
- Females, 19 years to menopause - 1000 mg / day
- Females, pregnant women (last trimester) - 1200 mg / day
- Females, lactating women - 1000 mg / day
- Females, postmenopause - 1300 mg / day
- Males, 19–65 years - 1000 mg / day
- Males, 65+ years - 1300 mg / day
The calcium requirement of an adult is generally recognized to be the intake required to maintain calcium balance and therefore skeletal integrity.
Calcium balance is determined by the relationship between calcium intake and calcium absorption and excretion. Relatively small changes in calcium absorption and excretion can neutralize a high intake or compensate for a low one.
A positive calcium balance (net calcium retention) is required throughout growth, particularly during the first 2 years of life and during puberty and adolescence. These age groups therefore constitute populations at risk for calcium deficiency, as do pregnant women (especially in the last trimester), lactating women, postmenopausal women, and, possibly, elderly men.
Fruit and vegetable consumption is a focus of research and nutrition education, but there is no universal agreement on the meaning of 'fruits and vegetables'. Foods that require specific instruction include rice, dried beans, potatoes, tomatoes and fruits and vegetables in mixtures and condiments.
Fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and their sufficient daily consumption could help prevent major diseases. A recently published WHO/FAO report recommends a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies.
Fruits and vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend you make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals (phytonutrients) that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms.