Calcium, Exercise; Good for Young Girls

Most people are convinced that milk is the only REAL source of calcium—hogwash! Dr. Fuhrman makes it quite clear, fruits and vegetables—especially green vegetables—are loaded with calcium. He talks about in his book Eat to Live. Take a look:
Many green vegetables have calcium-absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk.1 Additionally since animal protein induces calcium excretion in the urine, the calcium retention from vegetables is higher. All green vegetables are high in calcium.
In fact, if you break it down per calorie. Many fruits and vegetables contain far more milligrams of calcium than foods like milk and eggs. Check out this chart:

Now, here’s something really cool—ladies pay special attention—new research has determined that a calcium-rich diet and lots of exercise early in life, is a great way to maintain strong bones later in life. Pohla Smith of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jan Grudziak likens the process of building bones strong enough to prevent osteoporosis to investing in a retirement fund. But in the case of bones, the fund is built from childhood on by eating calcium-rich foods and doing weight-bearing exercise.

His metaphor is particularly apt for women, who have lower peak bone mass than men, start to lose it much earlier and lose it at a slightly faster rate.

"The best picture is that it's an investment for the future," said Dr. Grudziak, of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. "With the retirement for bone, the age is 30 to 35. You have to drain the investments." Just like retirement funds, the earlier and bigger the investment, the more bone strength you have to lose…

…"It's been quoted that less than half [of the girls] get the calcium quantities they need," said registered dietitian Cindy Miller, who is part of the clinical nutrition staff of Children's Outpatient Nutrition Counseling Center. "For ages 9 to 12 it might be better. They're younger and parents might have a little more control over them than a teen who goes out to a restaurant and won't order milk. ... They say only 15 percent of teen girls get the required amount of calcium."

That amount is 1,300 milligrams, the high-calcium equivalent of four dairy servings. One serving is 8 ounces of milk or yogurt or 11/2 ounces of hard cheese, Ms. Miller said. Other good sources include pudding; dark leafy vegetables, particularly collard and turnip greens and broccoli; calcium-fortified or calcium-set soy; dry beans; and calcium-fortified foods like orange juice, soy milk or rice milk.
You got to love the kudos being given to veggie calcium—very cool! Another great source of plant calcium is flaxseed. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman has to say about this neat little seed. Have a look:
Flaxseed is rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer, and omega 3 essential fatty acid, also known as alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which is essential for health maintenance and disease prevention. In addition, flaxseed is a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and folate.
Now, as far as exercises goes. We all know it’s good for us, but, do you know the proper way to do different exercises? If you don’t, these exercise demonstrations from The Washington Post will get you up to speed. Here’s a couple:

Good thing that guy’s not straining too hard. In that position…bad things could happen—EEK!

1. Weaver, C.M., and K.L. Plawecki. 1994. Dietary calcium: adequacy of a vegetarian diet. Am. J. Nutr. 59 (supp.): 1238-41S.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Lindsay - July 24, 2008 11:26 AM

It is true that you can get calcium from different foods other than dairy but I do not think I will be eating 14 cups of romaine for 100 calories to reach the amount of calcium I can get in 6 ounces of skim milk. Also it take 3 1/2 cups of broccoli and 8 1/2 cups of cucumbers. No thanks!!

MJ - May 13, 2010 4:30 AM

But most people could manage a cup and a half of bok choy in a day :) In fact, I know I will be from now on :o)

Chad - August 3, 2010 1:31 PM

Skim milk is the last place I would look to get calcium. It's too bad the calcium in milk is unrecognizable by the human body. The bonding to casein and phosphorus makes it inabsorbable. "Got Milk?"

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