martes, 7 de abril de 2009

Vegan foods are good for bone health

Bok choy and other Asian greens
are rich in calcium.

Calcium-rich plant foods often have advantages over milk in protecting the health of your bones. For example:

Calcium-fortified soymilk and calcium-set tofu contain soy isoflavones, which may help maintain bone health.

Calcium-fortified orange juice is rich in vitamin C, and research shows that people with high vitamin C intakes are likely to have healthier bones.

• Many leafy green vegetables–such as collards and kale–are rich in calcium and they are also high in vitamin K and potassium–two nutrients needed for strong bones.

While dairy foods provide calcium, they don’t contain vitamin C or isoflavones and they are poor sources of vitamin K and potassium.

Vegans and others who avoid dairy products can get plenty of calcium from natural sources and fortified foods. Foods that are good sources of calcium include many leafy greens, (like kale, collards, bok choy, and mustard greens), broccoli, some legumes, blackstrap molasses (but not regular molasses), fortified soyfoods, fortified juices, and tofu if it has calcium listed as an ingredient.

Some foods—like spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard, and certain seeds—have lots of calcium, but most of it doesn't get absorbed. These foods contain compounds called oxalates that interfere with calcium absorption. Generally, calcium is well-absorbed from most other plant foods, though, and from fortified foods, too. It’s also well absorbed from supplements.

However you choose to get calcium, make sure you get enough. The current recommendation for adults is 1000 milligrams of calcium per day. If you don't eat enough calcium-rich foods to meet your needs for this mineral, use supplements to make up the difference.

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