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Healthy Bones - Part 2 Is your diet rich in Calcium?

2.2 million Australians are affected by osteoporosis and 20,000 hip fractures occur every year in Australia

Calcium is a key ingredient to bone health, without it our bones are at risk of fractures especially after the age of 50.

Milk, cheese, yoghurts are all great sources of calcium as well as green leafy vegetables, nuts & seeds, salmon, sardines and tofu. How much of these foods should we eat each day?

  • Children 1-3 years 500mg/day

  • Children 4-8 years 700mg/day

  • Children 9-11 years 1,000mg/day

  • Teens 12-18 years 1,300mg/day

  • Adults under 50 1,000mg/day

  • Women over 50 1,300mg/day

  • Men over 70 1,700mg/day

Osteoporosis Australia recommends getting 3-5 serves of calcium rich food daily. Milk, yoghurt, and most cheeses are great sources of calcium. Three serves of dairy provide adequate calcium, this would look like:

- a 250ml glass of milk

- 200g tub of yoghurt

- a 40g slice of cheese

Other ways to get more calcium:

- eat the bones from canned salmon and sardines

- add yoghurt to soups, salads and desserts

- snack on trail mixes containing dried fruit (figs and apricots) and almonds

- have an indulgent slice of cheesecake or some custard for dessert

- have some fresh oysters or steamed mussels from your local fresh fish market

- steam some edamame beans as a snack

If you can't tolerate dairy products, try eating a serve of leafy green vegies such as spinach, bok choy or silverbeet with lunch and dinner, or whiz up a green smoothie, sprinkle some sesame seeds on your food, look for calcium-fortified cereals and breads, or have some baked beans on toast.

Look after your bones, half of all Australians don't get their daily recommended intake of calcium. Plan your menu to reach your daily intake to make sure you don't fall into the statistics of hip fractures.

Try this green lemonade smoothie recipe to reach one of your daily serves:

3/4 cup coconut water

1/4 cup milk (or almond milk)

2 or 3 handfuls spinach

2 or 3 handfuls kale (stems removed)

1 tablespoon flaxseeds

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

1 medium green apple, cored

1 banana

Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Yum!!!

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