Calcium is an essential nutrient that gives structure and strength to bones and teeth, helps muscles work properly, and has a number of other critical functions.

If you don’t consume enough calcium, your bones must tap into their reserves to make sure there is an adequate amount of the mineral in your bloodstream.

Over time, this constant withdrawal weakens bones and can lead to osteoporosis.

While calcium isn’t the only factor in bone health, it’s important to get enough in your diet, and dairy is not the only way to do that. There are many other calcium-rich foods to choose from. These include broccoli, sardines, tofu, nuts and seeds, as well as calcium-fortified foods, like juices, cereals and soy milk.

You can always take a Calcium supplement, consult your doctor and eat foods that are rich in calcium. It is also vital to keep your calcium levels in check.