Showing posts from July 22, 2012

Calcium supplements and vitamin pills: What you need to know

While food is the best source of calcium, supplements are another option. But it matters what type of calcium you take and how you take it.
Calcium citrate is a highly absorb able calcium compound. Calcium citrate can be taken at any time, but absorption is best when taken with a meal.Calcium ascorbate and calcium carbonate are not as easily absorbed as calcium citrate. Absorption is better when taken with food or soon after a meal.  Be smart about calcium supplements        
Don’t take more than 500 mg at a time. Your body can only absorb a limited amount of calcium at one time, so it is best to consume calcium in small doses throughout the day. Take your calcium supplement with food. All supplemental forms of calcium are best absorbed when taken with food. If it’s not possible to take your supplement with food, choose calcium citrate.Purityis important. It’s best to choose calcium supplements with labels that state "purified" or, if you’re in the U.S., have the US…

Other tips for building strong bones and preventing bone loss

In addition to adding calcium-rich foods to your diet, there are a few other important things you can do to strengthen your bones and keep them that way.  You can also minimize the amount of calcium you lose by reducing your intake of certain kinds of foods and other substances that deplete your body’s calcium stores.

For lifelong bone health, exercise is key
When it comes to building and maintaining strong bones, exercise is essential. Studies show that the risk of osteoporosis is lower for people who are active, especially for those who do weight-bearing activities at least three times a week. Exercise also increases your muscle strength and coordination, which helps you avoid falls and other situations that cause fractures.
There are many different ways to include weight-bearing exercises in your life. Some examples are walking, dancing, jogging, weightlifting, stair climbing, racquet sports, and hiking. Find something that you enjoy doing and make it a regular activit…

Magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K: Calcium’s necessary counterparts

When it comes to your bones, calcium alone is not enough. There are a number of other vital nutrients that help your body absorb and make use of the calcium you consume. The most important of these are magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K. 
Calcium and magnesium Magnesium helps your body absorb and retain calcium. Magnesium works closely with calcium to build and strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. Since your body is not good at storing magnesium, it is vital to make sure you get enough of it in your diet. Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, seafood, legumes, tofu, and many vegetables.
Swiss chard and spinach are excellent sources of magnesium. Include spinach in your salads or add chard to soup. Eat more summer squash, turnip and mustard greens, broccoli, sea vegetables, cucumbers, green beans, and celery. Replace refined grains (i.e. white flour and white rice) with whole grains. Add pumpkin, sesame, flax, or sunflower seeds to cereal, salad, soup, and …

Tips for upping your calcium intake

When you eat a diet rich in whole foods—vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits—not only do you get a wonderful variety of tastes on your plate, but you also give your body the different nutrients, including calcium, that it needs. To boost your daily intake, try to include calcium-rich foods in multiple meals or snacks.
Tips for adding more dairy to your diet—even if you don’t like milkUse milk instead of water when making oatmeal or other hot breakfast cereals. Substitute milk for some of the liquid in soups such as tomato, squash, pumpkin, curries, etc. Milk can be added to many sauces or used as the base in sauces such as Alfredo and Béchamel sauce. Make whole-wheat pancakes and waffles using milk or yogurt. Get creative with plain yogurt. Use it to make a dressing or a dip, or try it on potatoes in place of fattier sour cream. Add milk or yogurt to a fruit smoothie. You can even freeze blended smoothies for popsicles. Enjoy a small piece of cheese for dessert or as …

Calcium and milk: The pros and cons

There is some debate in the nutrition world over the benefits of dairy products. Many nutritionists believe that consuming milk and dairy products will help prevent osteoporosis. On the other hand, some believe that eating a lot of dairy will do little to prevent bone loss and fractures and may actually contribute to other health problems.
One thing, however, is certain: milk and other dairy products contain a lot of calcium in a highly absorbable form. Dairy products are a quick and easy way to get calcium in your diet, one you may already be enjoying on a regular basis. But you should also be aware of the potential downsides.
Dairy products are often high in saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. To limit your saturated fat intake, choose low-fat or non-fat versions of your favorite dairy foods. Switch out your 2% milk for 1%, and once you adjust to that, try skim milk. You can also find many reduced-fat chees…

Calcium can seem confusing.

Your body is able to absorb more calcium from food than it can from supplements. In fact, studies show that even though people who take calcium supplements have a higher average daily intake, those who get most of their calcium from food have stronger bones. On top of the better absorption rates, calcium from food often comes with other beneficial nutrients that help calcium do its job.
Good food sources of calciumDairy: 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 leafy green ones, are rich sources of calcium. Try turnip greens, mustard 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, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans.Herbs…

The key to strong bones and lifelong bone health

Calcium can seem confusing. How much should you get? Where should you get it? And what’s the deal with vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K? But once you understand the basics, it’s not that hard to include it in your diet and get the calcium you need.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, one that plays many vital roles. Your body uses it to build healthy bones and teeth, keep them strong as you age, send messages through the nervous system, help your blood clot, and regulate the heart’s rhythm, among other things.
How your body gets calcium Your body gets the calcium it needs in one of two ways. The first and best way is through the foods you eat or the supplements you take. However, if you’re not consuming enough calcium, your body will get it in a different way, pulling it from your bones where it’s stored. That’s why diet is key.
Getting enough calcium in your diet is particularly important when you’re under the age of 3…