May 27, 2012

Be a Calcium Kid

We all need calcium to help make our bones strong. Taking calcium tablets seems to be not enough as most of it are not absorbed in our bodies. Good news is we have food alternatives to get enough calcium that not only can help our bones but also satisfy our tastes as well.

1. Calcium fortified cereal —1000 mg / ¾ cup
2. Low fat and plain yogurt—415 mg / 8 oz.
3. Orange juice that is calcium fortified—350 mg / cup
4. Sardines—325 mg for every 3 oz.
5. Fortified soy milk—300 mg / cup
6. Spinach—291 mg / cup
7. Low fat milk—290 mg / cup
8. Low fat cottage cheese—206 mg / cup
9. Cheddar cheese with reduced fat—200 mg / ounce
10. Canned salmon with bones—181 mg for ever 3 oz.
11.  Processed tofu with calcium—163 mg / ¼ block
12. Crab meat—123 mg / cup
13. Almonds—110 mg / 1/3 cup
14. Cooked broccoli—61 mg / cup
15. Cooked beans—25-65 mg / ½ cup

Another vitamin that helps in calcium absorption is Vitamin D. Sufficient intake of this vitamin is crucial for the bones to absorb enough calcium and use it properly. Without this, any amount of calcium intake will be wasted. 

There are many ways to get Vitamin D and the famous way is exposure to sunlight. However, doctors have warned against sun exposure just to get Vitamin D because of skin cancer, aging, and dehydration. We can, however, stay outdoors for a short time and make sure we have sunblock on and sunnies. And while we are getting tan, let us remember to drink lots of water for proper hydration. 

Some milks available in the supermarket, especially in the US are fortified with Vitamin D. But if one does not have access to these milks, fret not as there are many other good sources of this Calcium helper. 

1. Salmon, cooked - 360 IU / 3½ ounces
2. Mackerel, cooked – 340 IU / 3½ ounces
3. Tuna fish, canned in oil – 200 IU / 3 ounces
4. Sardines, canned in oil, drained – 250 IU / 1¾ ounces
5. Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified – 98 IU / 1 cup
6. Margarine, fortified – 60 IU / 1 Tablespoon
7. Pudding, prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk – 50 IU / ½ cup
8. Ready-to-eat cereals fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D – 40 IU / ¾ cup to 1 cup servings (servings vary according to the brand)
9. Egg – 20 IU / 1 whole (vitamin D is found in egg yolk) 
10. Liver, beef, cooked – 15 IU / 3½ ounces
11. Cheese, Swiss – 12 IU / 1 ounce

So now we have all we need to be bone healthy and strong! Cheers!

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