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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Calcium, Vitamin D Needed To Strengthen Bones

By Pamela Redwine

The Healthy You Exercise class meets each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 a.m. Wear cool clothes, comfortable shoes and bring some water to drink. You do not have to register for this class.  
The Extension Service will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.  
The crochet group will meet on Thursday, June 6, at 10 a.m. until noon at the Extension Office. This is a fun, laid-back group that enjoys learning to crochet.  You can work on different projects at your own pace.  It is free all you have to do is bring your own yarn and crochet needle.  
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at MSU- Yalo-busha County Extension Service to keep up with our upcoming events
As we get older, the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and certain cancers goes up significantly. The foods you eat–as well as your activity level–are major players in maintaining optimal health. Choosing more beans, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables is a step in the right direction for your health. Check out these food and health pairings.
Bone-Strengthening Foods
Food and fitness both play a vital role in bone health. The latest science shows that nutrients like vitamin D and calcium (plus flavonoids found in green tea) provide bone-building action and support. Ninety-nine percent of the calcium in your body is stored in bones. Vitamin D and calcium work synergistically to strengthen bone–the body cannot absorb calcium into the intestine without help from vitamin D.
That means that getting plenty of both nutrients is beneficial to maintain strong and healthy bones.
How much, you ask? Children should get at least 400 IU of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D per day.  Most people up to age 50 should get 1000 mg a day of calcium. After 50, women need 1,200 mg a day. Men’s calcium needs go up after age 70.
Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium include fortified cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, soymilk, rice, and nut milk. Coldwater fatty fish like salmon, halibut, tuna and mackerel contain significant levels of vitamin D, as do mushrooms, which have been exposed to UV light.
Studies have shown that sipping a few cups of green tea daily may give women a bone-building boost from the flavonoid epigallo-3-catechin gallate (EGCG).  This flavonoid had been shown to mineralize bone.  In addition, vitamin C-rich foods like raspberries, strawberries, oranges, pineapples, grapefruit, kiwi, guava, and tomatoes help collagen fibers link together and create a strong connective tissue matrix.  
Antioxidants like vitamin C also help protect bones from free radical damage and increase bone mineral density/bone mass.

(Article Source: Communicating Food For Health Newsletter, May 2013 – written by Victoria Shanta Retelyny, RD, LDN, author of The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods.)

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