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Food For Strong Bones

Nutritional Basics
Good nutrition is important for proper growth and repair of your body tissues. It makes you energetic and it helps you resist diseases and infections. Eating properly helps you feel good and look good.

Eating a variety of foods that contain the basic nutrients such as water, protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins keeps you in good health. This helps you have fewer medical and dental expenses, be more efficient at work and play and have an increased sense of well-being.

Calcium and Osteoporosis
Calcium is one important nutrient we all need for strong bones. It is also needed for your heart, muscles and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot normally.

If you don't consume enough calcium-rich foods you risk developing osteoporosis - a bone disease that causes bones to become fragile and thin. This results in a person being at risk for bone fractures because the bone has lost its strength. Sometimes, a simple action like coughing or sneezing can result in a fracture.

Osteoporosis affects men and women. However, 80 percent of those with osteoporosis are women. National nutrition surveys show that many women and young girls consume less than half the amount of calcium recommended for healthy bones. A low calcium intake is associated with low bone mass, rapid bone loss and high fracture rates.

Some of the risk factors associated with osteoporosis include:
• An inadequate intake of calcium-rich foods
• An inactive lifestyle
• Heavy cigarette smoking
• Excessive alcohol and caffeine intake
• A family history of osteoporosis among family members
• Being tall, thin and small framed
• Some medications which increase your risk of osteoporosis

The Role of Vitamin D
You can help keep your bones strong by eating a variety of calcium-rich foods as well as foods high in vitamin D. Vitamin D enables your body to absorb calcium from the foods you eat.

Vitamin D is formed by the body from sunlight. It is also found in foods such as tuna, sardines, liver, egg yolks and fortified milk. Please consult your physician as to your correct intake of vitamin D, as massive doses of vitamin D can be harmful.

Common Calcium-Rich Foods
The following chart lists some good sources of calcium and the amount of calcium, contained in each food per serving.

 

Food

Serving

Milligrams per Serving

 

Almonds, shelled, whole

1/2 cup

166

Beans, canned

1 cup

138-161

Bok choy, raw

1 cup

74

Broccoli, cooked, drained, from raw

1 cup

136

Broccoli, cooked, drained, from frozen

1 cup

100

Cheese, cheddar

1 ounce

213

Cheese, cottage, creamed

1 cup

212

Cheese, mozzarella, part skim

1 ounce

207

Cheese, muenster

1 ounce

203

Cheese,ricotta, part-skim

4 ounce

335

Collards, cooked, drained, from raw

1 cup

357

Fruit juices, calcium enriched

8 ounces

150-300

Ice cream

1 cup

194

Ice cream, vanilla, 11% fat, soft serve

1 cup

236

Ice milk, hardened

1 cup

204

Ice milk, soft serve

1 cup

273

Ice milk, vanilla, 3% fat, soft serve

1 cup

274

Marong-gay leaves, cooked

1 cup

255

Milk, evaporated

1/2 cup

318

Milk, low fat 2%

1 cup

352

Milk, skim

1 cup

296

Milk, whole

1 cup

288

Mustard greens, cooked

1 cup

193

Oysters, raw, 13-19 medium sized

1 cup

226

Salmon, canned with bones, Chinook

1/2 cup

170

Sardines, canned in oil, drained

2-3 ounces

248

Shrimp, canned, drained

3 ounces

98

Soybeans, fresh, green, cooked

1 cup

134

Soybeans, dried, mature, cooked

1 cup

131

Spinach, boiled from raw

1/2 cup

122

Taro leaves, cooked

1 cup

178

Tofu

4 ounces

154

Turnip greens, cooked

1 cup

267

Watercress, cooked

1 cup

120

Yogurt, frozen, chocolate

8 ounces

160

Yogurt, frozen fruit flavored

8 ounces

240

Yogurt, low fat, frozen fruit flavored

1 cup

314

Yogurt, low fat, plain

1 cup

415

 

 

 

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