It is extremely important to get enough calcium in your diet. Unless, of course, you like the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” look. In that case, skip the calcium altogether. Calcium is more readily absorbed when it is eaten in a food, but some foods are more readily absorbed than others. For example, kale is more readily absorbed than milk.
It is also important to be getting enough vitamin D, which aids in dairy absorption. The easiest source of vitamin D is right outside your front door- the sun. (Unless, of course, it’s overcast or nighttime.) Sunblock also blocks the vitamin D, so make sure you spend at least a little bit of time in the sun unprotected. Half an hour a day is enough.
I have read that a diet that is overly high in protein also keeps calcium from being readily absorbed into your system, so watch your protein intake. Same with high phosphorous foods like soda.
But what if you are lactose intolerant or a vegan, or just plain don’t like to eat dairy items? Fortunately there are plenty of non-dairy, high calcium foods. Here are several:
Soy of all sorts, including tofu
Calcium fortified orange juice
Calcium fortified cereals
Of course, if none of these options appeal to you, there’s always calcium supplements. Viactiv makes a particularly tasty supplement!