Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Calcium In Broccoli — Really?

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

We have all heard the slogan – “Milk – it does the body good.”  But does it? A 12 year Harvard Study showed women who drank 3 glasses of milk a day had more bone fractures than those who drank very little milk. The National Dairy Council website, www.nationaldairycouncil.org, states “the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognizes that moderate evidence shows that milk and milk products are linked to improved bone health.”  Moderate evidence?  A government report published in the journal, Pediatricsconcluded dairy products were “not necessarily the best way” to provide needed calcium. Because the body becomes more acidic when dairy products are consumed, it pulls calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid. Also hormones given to cows are found in its milk.
So what are good sources of calcium?  Surprisingly  broccoli, collard greens, kale, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, beans, legumes, figs, nuts, seeds, and fortified orange juice are better absorbed by the body than milk and other dairy products.  They also have a bonus of providing fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, folate, iron, and antioxidants.  Bone health can also be improved by not smoking, consuming less sodium, getting 15 minutes of sunlight a day, and exercise.

Jody Perrecone is a corporate manager for the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP). CHIP is an international wellness program focusing on lifestyle interventions to create a healthier workforce and reduce overall healthcare costs. Jody works with hospitals, corporations, and communities to offer CHIP programs throughout the U.S.

Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

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