Meeting Your Calcium Needs
Each of the basic food groups contributes nutrients which are necessary for good health. Meats, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and dried peas, beans, and lentils are high in protein. Whole grains (wheat, oats, barley, corn) have abundant B vitamins and fiber. Plant oils (from sunflower, corn, soybean, and safflower) are rich in essential, unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. Dairy products are the best source of calcium in the regular American diet.
Calcium is an essential nutrient all through life. Babies, children, and adolescents need it for normal bone and tooth development. Adults need calcium to maintain healthy bones.
Women over 45 and men over 60 may develop a condition known as "osteoporosis" (fragile bones) if they have not had a regular amount of calcium in their adult lives. There are other reasons why adults may develop osteoporosis:
Some medications can impede calcium absorption (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, tetracyclines, laxatives, and diuretics).
How Much Calcium Do We Need?
The National Research Council has set Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for calcium for every phase of a woman's life:
Stage Age RDA
Infants 0-6mo 400mg
Children 1-10yr 800mg
Young Adults 11-24yr 1,200mg
Adults 25-50 800mg
Select Foods High In Calcium
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