Literatus: A treasure chest of calcium

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THE most common sources of calcium today are dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese and the like. Most of these sources though are high-calorie sources too. So if you need to count your energy intake and still need to get a lot of calcium for your bones, there are alternative sources you may treasure for calcium contents that are at par with dairy sources.

Sardines. Yes, those oil-filled fish in labeled cans. Three ounces of these canners can deliver at least 300 mg of calcium, much like a glass of milk can.

Dark green leafy vegetables. Pechay, Chinese cabbage, kale, collard, turnip greens, and anything green leafed you can find. One cup of chopped and cooked turnip greens, for example, contains about 200 mg of calcium.


Salmon. This fatty fish (most fatty fish offer the same benefits) offer an array of bone-boosting nutrients in its treasure chest. They contain both calcium and vitamin D, which assists in calcium absorption. So do not have to worry about cloudy days.

Fish oils (these have high content of omega-3 fatty acids) also reduce bone loss.

Nuts and seeds. Walnuts and flaxseeds pack with omega-3. Peanuts and almonds contain potassium, which protects against calcium loss in urine. Nuts in general though contain certain proteins and similar nutrients that supports in building strong bones.

The treasure check of calcium also contains huge volumes of soluble and insoluble fibers that keep your stomach and intestines clean and healthy as well as cleanse your blood vessels from sticky cholesterol flakes.

The only difficulty in using the suggested food lies on the uncertainty of their exact calcium content. That means you need sometime get a good estimate of the calcium content these have.

To be on the safe side, place a majority these seeds, leaves or fish in your diet and supplement yourself with a 200- to 500-mg tablet. Just take note on the absorption differences of the calcium compounds used in supplements today.

Calcium carbonate must be taken with meals as it is better absorbed that way. Calcium citrate can be taken anytime even without meals.

One non-dairy source of calcium became very popular in recent years. Soya products, preferably fresh ones, contain both calcium and isoflavones that support in the strengthening work on the bones. Isoflavones upgrades the bone density as well as provide an estrogen-like effect, making it the best food to ward off bone disease in postmenopausal women.

“Kiss a lover/ Dance a measure/ Find your name/ And buried treasure,” wrote Neil Gaiman in The Graveyard Book.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 05, 2014.


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