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View Full Version : Healthy Cooking 3/14: Are you getting your calcium?


aprincessmom
03-14-2002, 09:53 AM
Calcium is the mineral in your body that makes up your bones and keeps them strong. Ninety-nine percent of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth. The remaining 1% is in your blood and soft tissues and is essential for life and health. Without this tiny 1% of calcium, your muscles wouldn’t contract correctly, your blood wouldn’t clot and your nerves wouldn’t carry messages.

For women, throughout their lives, calcium plays a key role in preventing osteoporosis. Pregnant and nursing women need even more of it to help provide proper nutrients for their growing baby.

Dairy products are one of the easiest way to meet your calcium needs. The food pyramid recommends 2-3 servings from the Milk, Yogurt and Cheese Group every day. The pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day to get the nutrients you need. Each food group provides a unique combination of nutrients. Foods in one group can't replace those in another. For good health, you need them all.

Most Americans do not eat the recommended number of servings to get the calcium they need because of caloric and fat concerns. Dairy products tend to be high in fat and calories. But calcium is also found in foods such as dark green vegetables, nuts, grains, beans, canned salmon and sardines (if you eat the bones). These foods can help contribute to your calcium quota. But without dairy in your diet, it may be difficult to meet your daily calcium requirements.

No-fat or low-fat dairy products provide the easiest, most plentiful sources of calcium in the diet. In addition, try adding broccoli, kale, and salmon, especially with the bones included, to your diet. Many processed foods are now fortified with calcium, including fruit juices, snack foods and breakfast cereals. You might find the easiest way to get the daily calcium you need is to make changes in your diet and take a calcium supplement.

If you aren’t getting enough calcium from your diet, you need to take a calcium supplement every day. Here are some tips to help you remember.

Take your calcium supplement with meals. For example, calcium carbonate is most effective with meals, and studies have shown that it may be better absorbed with food.
Take your calcium supplement in divided doses throughout the day. The body can absorb only so much calcium at one time, so try taking a supplement with two or three of your meals each day.
Try keeping your calcium supplement in several places (bathroom, kitchen, purse) so if you do forget, you can take it easily.

So to keep in our calcium spirit, I am posting an easy and tasty pizza recipe for all to enjoy. I apologize to those who have already seen it on the challenge thread...I usually try out one of my recipes ahead and was so excited about this one that I had to tell everyone early!

Three Cheesey Pizza
(makes 4 servings -- basically 1/4 of the pizza)

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 pre-baked pizza crust (10 ounce) -- I used regular pizza dough that I make up ahead of time
4 oz. sliced ham (fat free) -- I used some nice prosciuotto that I had and added points
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp grated parmesan -- I used fresh grated romano (I like the taste of that better than parmesan)

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F
2. Spread ricotta evenly over pizza crust
3. Top with ham, mozzarella and parmesan
4. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until the crust is crisp and cheese bubbling (approx. 10 minutes).

I also added chopped spinach (more calcium) and some caramelized onion to the topping, putting it on when I did the ham and mozzarella.

And take a look at the Challenge thread. Holly has challenged all of us to try a new recipe and there are some new ones there as well as our past Healthy Cooking threads: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=163338 and http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=167212. So try a new one and let us know how you liked it. Sometimes change can be a good thing!

Jeanne

December99
03-14-2002, 12:39 PM
I take a multivitamin that has the calcium in it, try to have a 4 oz glass of milk every day and I drink a 4 oz glass of Minute Maid OJ with Calcium that is equivalent to a glass of milk. I also try to have an 8 oz cup of yogurt daily too. Sometimes I dont' accomplish that but I really try. Thanks for the information!!!