‘MANY GREEN VEG­ETA­BLES ARE PAR­TIC­U­LARLY RICH IN CAL­CIUM’

Women's Health (UK) - - EAT SMART -

IN­NER STRENGTH

Let’s start with the lit­tle-known bone­booster vi­ta­min K2, which fea­tures heav­ily in Dr Kelly’s recipes and is found in freerange eggs, but­ter and milk, as well as fer­mented soy prod­ucts such as miso, tofu and natto (stringy fer­mented soy beans, the taste of which di­vides opin­ion, but they’re the rich­est di­etary source of K2). ‘Frac­ture maps of the world sug­gest the tra­di­tional Ja­panese diet is as­so­ci­ated with a much lower in­ci­dence of os­teo­poro­sis than the Western diet,’ ex­plains Dr Kelly. ‘Which could partly be down to nat­u­rally high mag­ne­sium,’ says Dr Kelly, ‘so it’s hard to get your 300mg RDA.’ She ad­vises up­ping your in­take of sesame seeds, pump­kin seeds, spinach, can­nellini beans and good qual­ity dark choco­late (as if she had to ask, right?). And then, of course, there’s cal­cium it­self, which builds and main­tains your bones. With more and more of us dodg­ing dairy (the num­ber of ve­g­ans in Bri­tain has risen by more than 360% over the past decade, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent MORI poll), lev­els of vi­ta­min K2.’ In­deed, one study pub­lished in the jour­nal Nu­tri­tion found that the more natto Ja­panese women con­sume, the higher their blood lev­els of K2, and the lower their risk of frac­ture. Mag­ne­sium is an­other nu­tri­ent es­sen­tial for bone strength. The min­eral helps reg­u­late the amount of cal­cium in your blood, but one in five women aged 19 to 34 in the UK are mag­ne­sium-de­fi­cient, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Na­tional Diet and Nu­tri­tion Sur­vey. ‘Mod­ern farm­ing meth­ods have de­pleted the soil of you might think it would be tricky to get the rec­om­mended 700mg a day. In fact, milk is not the best source of the min­eral. ‘Many green veg­eta­bles, in­clud­ing kale, spinach, pak choi and broc­coli, are par­tic­u­larly rich in cal­cium,’ points out Dr Kelly. ‘Nuts, seeds and pulses are also good.’ The mes­sage is: eat your greens. Then if you’re still low in cal­cium, it’s prob­a­bly be­cause your body isn’t ab­sorb­ing it ef­fec­tively – and one of the rea­sons for that is a lack of vi­ta­min D. In­deed, the so-called sun­shine vi­ta­min is es­sen­tial for the ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium in the in­testines – which makes it all the more wor­ry­ing that over one in five peo­ple in the

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