Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Health Tip: Add calcium & vitamin D for strong bones

Calcium and vitamin D are essential for healthy and strong bones. Vitamin D is essential for optimum calcium absorption in the small intestine. Recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you don’t get enough of these nutrients from your diet.

Great sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy: Dairy products are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Sources include milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Vegetables and greens: Many vegetables, especially green leafy ones are rich sources of calcium. Try mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.
  • Beans: For another rich source of calcium, try black beans, pinto beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans or baked beans.
  • Herbs and spices: For a small but tasty calcium boost, flavor your food with basil, thyme, dill weed, cinnamon, garlic, oregano, peppermint leaves, rosemary, and parsley.
  • Other foods: More good sources of calcium include salmon, tofu, oranges, sesame seeds, almonds, blackstrap molasses, and sea vegetables. And don’t forget about calcium-fortified foods such as cereals and orange juice.
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