Calcium ~ Vitamins
What is it: A mineral that is found in your bones and teeth.
Why you need it: Keeps your bones strong and healthy, promotes efficient function of your nerves and muscles, and helps blood clotting.
First, The Promise
We've all heard that it keeps bones strong and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Perhaps you've heard that it may also protect against colorectal cancer.
Now here's The Controversy
Years of advice seemed to be overturned in an instant last year, when the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) reported that volunteers who took a calcium supplement plus vitamin-D were just as likely to suffer fractures as women given placebos.
But don't believe the mineral's negative press, Connie Weaver, PhD, a calcium expert at Purdue University told us:
That part of the WHI study was so riddled with flaws that its conclusions can't be trusted.
It turned out that many of the women in the study group weren't taking the pills, which only proves that if you don't take them, they don't work.
What's more, many in the placebo group were taking supplements (they were allowed to continue taking supplements they'd previously been using).
Still, the researchers found that women who took the pills as recommended, had a 30% lower risk of hip fractures.
And the benefit was biggest in women older than 60, the age when fracture risk begins to climb.
Not only that, but a 2003 Dartmouth Medical School study found that volunteers with a history of adenomas (growths in the colon and rectum that can turn into cancer) had a 29% lower risk of recurrence when they took 1,200 mg daily.
"That doesn't prove it'll prevent colon cancer."
"But it certainly suggests it will."
So...Who Needs It
People who avoid dairy:
Milk and other dairy products are the main sources of dietary calcium.
If you don't consume the equivalent of 3 cups of milk a day, you need to supplement.
And, just about everyone else:
A recent survey showed that 88% of women and 63% of men don't get enough from their food.
And, how much
1,000 to 1,200 mg. daily.
Where to get it
In Natures Super Foods of course, but...
...if your diet is average, a multi won't provide enough.
Take a separate, singular supplement.
Sesame seeds (1/4 c., 206 calories) 35 % daily value
2% milk (1 c., 121 calories) 30 % d.v.
Plain or vanilla soymilk (1 c., 70 calories) 30 % d.v.
Low-fat yogurt (8 oz., 155 calories) 25 % d.v.
Cooked spinach (1 c., 40 calories) 25 % d.v.
Part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 oz., 72 calories) 18 % d.v.
Raw tofu (4 oz., 86 calories) 10 % d.v.
Cream cheese (1 oz., 29 calories) 10 % d.v.
Here's a great recipe to up your intake;
Oyster & Clam Chowder Soup
This dish was created to provide you with a great tasting and easy way to boost your body with an abundance of calcium.
Eat this once a week and you'll have no worries about getting more calcium into your diet.
Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 med. onion, chopped
4 med. cloves garlic, chopped
3 med. stalks celery, diced 1/4 inch pieces
2 c. + 1 Tbs. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. tomato sauce
1 - 10 oz. jar of shucked fresh oysters, drained and rinsed, (the smaller, the better)
1 - 10 oz. can of whole clams, drained and rinsed, (if available, use fresh clams and steam open in soup
1 Tbs. dried Italian herbs
2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
Prepare onion, garlic and celery.
Heat 1 Tbs. broth in medium soup pot.
Sauté onion, garlic and celery in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add rest of broth, tomato sauce and Italian herbs.
Simmer for another 25 minutes.
Drain and rinse both oysters and clams.
If oysters are big, add to chowder about 2 minutes before canned clams.
Heat for another 5 minutes.
*If you're using fresh clams in the shell, add a couple minutes before oysters to give them a little extra time to open.
If you're using canned clams you may want to wait until soup is almost done to add, so they just heat through.
Season with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Makes 4 Servings
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