17 May, 2012
Building blocks for bones
Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons
This post has been written with the support of Fishbowl patron, Swiss Natural.
Are you getting enough calcium? I’m not always so sure but I think my kids are. They drink milk with every meal and almost always have cereal and yogurt in the morning. My youngest daughter often makes herself a big cup of cocoa on cool afternoons and it’s all milk (and very little sugar because we don’t make it from a mix). I think they are doing ok.
As for myself, well, that’s a different story. The only milk I drink regularly is the 1/2 cup or so I use to make my latte every morning. Some days I have yogurt for breakfast, sometimes cheese will sometimes make an appearance somewhere along the line (ok, more often than sometimes), but when I think about it I am not certain I’m getting enough calcium in my diet. Apparently I’m not alone. Most adult women aren’t getting enough. I regularly tell my kids that calcium creates strong bones and teeth and is insurance against osteoporosis but I don’t think of it being very important to me too. As an extension of that I don’t do a lot of menu planning around this particular mineral. It just kind of happens that we aim for the four food groups, and it works out… more or less. I think.
Swiss Natural sent me some Chocolate Fudge Brownie calcium supplements to try awhile back. Although I prefer to get my calcium naturally (even though I’m not convinced I’m doing that very well) I think to could be a good solution for people who aren’t getting enough calcium in their daily diet. The supplements are chocolate-flavoured soft chews (I am hiding them from the kids because they’re like candy) and each one contains 600 mg Calcium and 400 IU Vitamin D. I’m also told that the chews are good for women in combating pre-menstrual syndrome those who are suffering from irritability, forgetfulness or depressed mood before periods. (CHECK. CHECK. Er, CHECK.) And that’s mostly when I’ve been taking them. :)
Note the presence of Vitamin D in those chews. At first I didn’t think much of it beyond “Oh cool, there’s Vitamin D in there!” but as it turns out Vitamin D actually plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone health. Food-wise, this means that when you’re serving calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. broccoli, collard greens, bok choy and spinach), fish (sardines, salmon), tofu and nuts… it’s good to get in some egg yolks, saltwater fish and liver too.
I think I’ll put grilled ginger salmon on baby spinach back into menu rotation again, and ease up on the salt shaker and processed meats. (Did you know that salt in our diets causes loss of bone minerals? There’s a good article about it at WebMD if you’re interested.)
There is so much to think about, isn’t there? It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
How do you ensure that you’re getting enough calcium? Is this something you worry about? Do you plan meals around the food groups? And do you have a calcium-rich recipe to share? If so I’d love to hear it!