For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
Why should you care about the amount of calcium in your diet?
- helping build strong bones and teeth
- regulating muscle contractions, including heartbeat
- ensuring blood clots normally
- helps in a the absorption of vitamin B12, needed for a healthy nervous system
Try this handy calcium calculator to work out your weekly calcium intake. If its low just incorporate more of the food below into your daily diet
This week the National Osteoporosis Society issued a press notice with this headline
Does it make you think, are you concerned about your child as they head off too university, move in to their first flat. Are they confused about what makes a healthy balanced diet, are they concerned about their weight and have tried fad diets or cut out food groups like dairy?
If the answers yes then maybe read on
Good sources of calcium include:
- milk, cheese and other dairy foods
- green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra
- soya beans, tofu and chickpeas
- soya or other non- dairy drinks and yoghurts with added calcium
- nuts (especially almonds), tahini and sesame seeds
- bread and food made with fortified flour
- fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and salmon
- Fresh citrus fruits or calcium fortified orange juice
- Dried figs – about 6
If you are concerned about your calcium (or vitamin D levels, for that matter) then maybe come and see me for a nutrition session. Call me on 07946 301338
Cancer research UK has stated that dairy products (and non dairy alternatives) are high in calcium, and several studies show a lower risk of breast cancer for women with high calcium intakes or calcium blood levels.
It is important to make sure your children especially your daughters eat plenty of foods high in calcium so they have good bone density throughout their teens. It is thought that 1 in 10 teenage girls have very low intakes of calcium. By age 20, the amount of bone is at its greatest (called the peak bone mass), and then it slowly but steadily decreases. So, if not enough calcium is taken in during this critical period, less is available in the bones for the rest of life. Encourage your children to drink and eat dairy and non- dairy alternatives; even low fat if its gets them to eat them!
Vitamin D – Your body needs vitamin D to help it absorb calcium. It is found in oily fish, liver, fortified spreads and cereals, and egg yolks. Your body also makes its own vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunshine (without sunscreen).
Be active – doing weight bearing exercise like walking, running, dancing, lifting weights and skipping are all good activities to strengthen bones
Magnesium – calcium needs magnesium to aid absorption so eat plenty of green leafy veg, brown rice and nuts
Vitamin K2 – works in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones and heart healthy; found in offal, egg yolks and dairy products
Coal drinks – Women who drink too many cola type fizzy drinks could have an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures, because the phosphoric acid in these drinks has the potential to weaken bones. If the drinks also contain caffeine it could affect how much calcium is much absorbed in the body
Protein – Too much protein like read meat and poultry can drain the body of calcium
Salt – If you have a high salt diet, you will excrete a lot of sodium and with it a lot of calcium. People who consume too much sodium could face an increased risk of kidney stones.