Thursday, March 24, 2005

Getting Calcium Without the Dairy

I looked up some info about calcium and thought I would share in response to this post:

Leafy greens contain vitamin C, A and D, magnesium -- along with calcium and folic acid -- and the combination is supposedly easier for your body to assimilate and use. There is also some evidence that too much calcium by itself actually isn't helpful to the body. Since the new USDA guidelines are for 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, everyone should probably drinking less milk and getting more vegetable sources of calcium in their diets.

Page 4 of the USDA Dietary Guidelines has a list of non-dairy sources of calcium

This was interesting as well to find out:

"While it is usually stated that calcium impairs iron absorption, the inconsistent results across experiments suggest that calcium-iron interactions are complex...It is likely that iron absorption can be protected by consuming calcium-rich foods and iron-rich foods at different meals."

I've been eating a lot more leafy greens over the past couple of years and have noted that if you can't get around to cooking them yourself that ethnic restaurants are a great way to incorporate some into your diet -- Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Ethiopian, Soul Food all have things like bok choy, spinach, or collard readily available. I actually feel better when I have less dairy, I will have some cheese if I'm craving it but otherwise I try to steer clear.

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