Vitamin D and calcium go together like cookies and milk. That's only fitting, since you can find them in every carton of milk.
In fact, manufacturers add vitamin D to every carton of milk to complement the calcium that milk contains naturally.
Your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb the rich supply of calcium that is in the milk you drink. And without calcium, your body can succumb to osteoporosis, a weakening of bones that can lead to fractures and early death. Post-menopausal women are especially susceptible to this condition.
What if you're not a big milk drinker? Nutritionist Elise Sosin says you can get your supply from other foods as well.
"There are many other ways to get vitamin D," Sosin says. "You can get it from some fish, like salmon. It's fortified in [some] cereals - you really need to check the label. Butter has it."
Vitamin D, on the other hand, does not come in every dairy product. It isn't added to yogurt, for instance. But, Sosin points out, yogurt is a "great source" of calcium. A container with 20 percent calcium supplies 200 milligrams, roughly 15 to 20 percent of the daily requirement for most women.
Diet is not the only way to get the nutrients your body needs. Here is another tip: get outside more. Sunlight is a rich source of the vitamin D so critical for calcium absorption.
One caution, though. Vitamin D should not be overdone. Too much can be toxic. The body cannot purge excess vitamin D naturally, as it does some vitamins. Take supplements only on the advice of your doctor.