This Month In Diet
  • Fill Up on Fiber
    Most people who eat a Western diet only get half the fiber they need per day for good health. So what’s the big deal about fiber and why did your mom always tell you to eat more of it? Here are four reasons why you need to add more fiber to your daily diet and how to get it. Read >>
  • Healthy Fast Food?
    Just a few years ago, it was hard to find diet-friendly options at a fast-food establishment. Recently, however, many fast-food chains realized people are interested in more than fast, quick food. So the next time you’re grabbing fast food, consider ordering one of the following options to stay on the healthy path. Read >>
  • Your Body & Calcium
    Every day, your body loses calcium, and it can’t produce calcium on its own. And when you’re lacking calcium in your diet, your body takes it from your bones, which leads to osteoporosis and other bone-breaking problems. Want to make sure you’re getting enough calcium? Eat these foods. Read >>
  • Thin Waist, Fat Wallet
    Since eating healthy can be pricy, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, it’s important to find ways to save money. With a little careful planning and some grocery shopping smarts, you can still eat healthily without breaking the bank. Here’s how. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Your Body & Calcium

Why you need this essential mineral and where to get it.

Your body needs a variety of minerals for good health—potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and more. But did you know that your body contains more calcium than any other single mineral? While most calcium in your body is found in bones and teeth, a small amount is stored in your soft tissues and blood. You may be surprised to learn that this essential mineral is used for a lot more than strong bones and teeth.

Calcium is used to move your muscles (including your heart); to keep blood moving throughout your body; to send nerve impulses between your brain and body; and to regulate and secrete proteins, hormones, and enzymes. In other words, nearly every one of your bodily functions depends on calcium to do its job.

For this reason, you don’t want to skimp on calcium. Every day, your body loses calcium, and it can’t produce calcium on its own. If you’re a healthy adult who is younger than 50, you should shoot for 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Once they hit 50, women should up their intake to 1,200 mg, while men should do the same at ate 70. Why consume more calcium? Because when you’re lacking calcium in your diet, your body takes it from your bones, which leads to osteoporosis and other bone-breaking problems.

Want to make sure you’re getting enough calcium? Eat these foods.

Food 1: Dairy

Calcium is naturally found in dairy products. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are some of the best ways to get enough calcium in your diet. Just drinking 8 ounces of milk provides 300 mg of calcium, 6 ounces of Greek yogurt contains 200 mg, 1 ounce of cheddar cheese contains 205 mg, and 4 ounces of cottage cheese has 105 mg.

Food 2: Leafy Greens

If you’re allergic or intolerant to dairy, there’s good news! Another great source of calcium is dark, green leafy vegetables. Kale, collard greens, broccoli rabe, and bok choy all contain a fair amount of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of frozen kale contains 180 mg of calcium, 8 ounces of frozen collard greens contains 360 mg, broccoli rabe 200 mg, and boiled bok choy 160 mg. So make a salad and get your calcium quickly!

Food 3: Produce

While not as rich in calcium as dairy and leafy greens, you can get a small amount of calcium in dried figs (prunes), fresh broccoli, and oranges. Two prunes give you 65 mg calcium, 8 ounces of cooked broccoli 60 mg, and an orange has 55 mg.

Food 4: Fortified Foods

To help people get enough calcium in their diet, some food manufacturers fortify their foods and drinks. You can find cereals, breads, orange juices, and plant-based milks (soy, almond, and rice) fortified with calcium. Enjoying 8 ounces of fortified cereal may get you anywhere from 100 to 1,000 mg of calcium; a packet of oatmeal 140 mg; an English muffin 100 mg; 8 ounces of orange juice 300 mg; and 8 ounces of soy, almond, or rice milk, 300 mg.

Food 5: Seafood

You may be surprised that you can find a good amount of calcium in canned seafood, including sardines with bones (3 ounces contain 325 mg), salmon with bones (3 ounces contain 180 mg), and shrimp (3 ounces contains 125 mg). Fish on the menu tonight? You better believe it!

Food Option: Supplements

While food is the best way to get your calcium, if you think your diet lacks sufficient calcium, you may want to consider a supplement. Supplements come as calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Look for one that contains less than 600 mg of calcium and also contains vitamin D. Remember that it’s best to take your supplement with food to help your body absorb the calcium, and when taking your supplement, avoid caffeine and salty foods, which may hinder absorption.