Bones weaken as we age. That is just a fact of life, however we can do plenty to ensure this is not too drastic and a calcium diet plan is at the top of that list.
Calcium is important for building strong bones and teeth. Our body contains around 1kg of calcium and 99% of this is found in our bones. During childhood and adolescence, your body makes bone tissue faster than you lose it. By the time you are 18 to 20 years old, you’ve built up about 90% of all the bone you will ever have.
So this nutrient is important early in life, but they may also help as you age.
If you develop osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones, getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D may slow the disease and prevent fractures.
At about age 30, the rate of bone building slows down and the rate of bone loss picks up.
You can’t get back bone once it’s lost, but you can help maximize bone formation and minimize bone loss.
A healthy balanced diet will ensure you build strong bones from an early age and maintain them throughout your life. You need sufficient calcium to strengthen your bones and vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium.
Calcium Requirement per day:
|Age||Adequate Intake (mg/day)|
|Birth – 6 months||210|
|Pregnancy and Lactation||1200|
Ensuring you have enough calcium in your diet is an important factor for bone health. You can have too much calcium though; having over 2,500mg of calcium a day regularly could cause medical problems. It can also affect the way your body absorbs other minerals like magnesium and iron.
Here is a sample calcium rich diet plan for you, but to ensure you are getting the right balance, you may find it useful to consult a nutrition professional:
Calcium Diet Plan
Vegetable Omelet with Cheese
Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt
Coffee or Tea
Fresh Banana sliced Tomato, Lettuce and Mayo or Mustard
1 Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2.5 oz Chicken Breast
8 oz Low Fat Milk
Approximate Nutrition Analysis:
Calories: 2,000; Protein: 94g; Calcium: 1,560mg; Vitamin D: 10mcg (400 IU)
Stop! When you are on Calcium Rich Diet, don’t use following foods:
• Avoid soft drinks. Consuming large quantities of soda raises phosphate levels in the blood, which can leach calcium from your bones and prevent the absorption of new calcium.
• A lower-sodium diet helps the body keep calcium, instead of losing it in urine. To follow a Lower-sodium diet, avoid the following foods: Salt added at the table, salted snack foods, pickles, canned soups and canned meats, processed meats, smoked or canned fish.
The milligrams (mg) of sodium in a food product can be found on the Nutrition Facts label. In general, foods with more than 300mg sodium per serving may not fit into a lower-sodium meal plan.
• Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol. They all inhibit calcium absorption and should be used in moderation.
Tips for increasing calcium intake and making a calcium rich diet
• Stir 2 Tbsp non-fat dry milk powder into regular milk or your favorite beverage.
• Sprinkle sesame seeds over vegetables or salads. Sesame seeds are easy to include in all meals and are high in calcium.
• Whip up a breakfast drink of low fat milk, nonfat yogurt, fresh fruit, and some sweetener.
• Try calcium-fortified foods for breakfast. Some cereals, fruit juices and breads now come with calcium added to the ingredients.
• Make hot cereal or soups with milk instead of water.
• Use plain yogurt as a substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise in recipes or on a baked potato.
• Use canned salmon with bones in place of tuna in sandwich spreads, fillings or on a bagel.
• Top pasta with tomato sauce and 1/2 cup ricotta cheese or some part-skim mozzarella.
• Use broccoli, kale, okra and turnip greens regularly.
• Add Vitamin D rich foods in diet to increase absorption of calcium.
What if I have lactose intolerance?
If you have lactose intolerance (problems digesting milk and milk products), try these tips:
• Dark green leafy vegetables
• Calcium Fortified soy and almond milk
• Orange Juice
• Pinto Beans
• Lettuce greens
• Calcium fortified
• Beans (if tolerated)
• Blackstrap molasses
• Sesame Seeds
• Try Lactaid supplements or Lactaid-treated dairy products.
What if I don’t like milk?
Try these tips:
• Use milk to make hot cocoa, hot cereals, and soups.
• Add powdered milk to foods such as casseroles, breads or muffins, puddings, or gravy.
• Use cottage cheese or plain yogurt on baked potatoes or in salad dressings.
• Use vanilla yogurt for fruit salad.
• Try flavored milk.
• For dessert, choose pudding, frozen yogurt, and yogurt.
• For a snack, try 8 to 12 ounces of a smoothie made with milk.
• Mix milk and orange juice and freeze in pop molds for a tasty cool treat.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Yumna Sadiq