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YOURS (UK) - - Feeling Great -

Cal­cium is your go-to min­eral for stronger bones and the lat­est ad­vice is to get as much of it as pos­si­ble from food rather than sup­ple­ments

To stay healthy, your bones need an al­ka­line en­vi­ron­ment. “If your body de­tects too much acid­ity in your blood, it could try to neu­tralise it by leach­ing cal­cium from your bones,” says Nurse Con­sul­tant Sarah Ley­land, Na­tional Os­teo­poro­sis So­ci­ety (www.nos.org.uk).

“Eat­ing too much pro­tein or car­bo­hy­drate could make your blood more acidic, but get­ting plenty of fruit and veg­eta­bles helps neu­tralise acid­ity and should pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing.”

Cal­cium is your go-to min­eral for stronger bones, and the lat­est ad­vice is to get as much of it as pos­si­ble from food rather than sup­ple­ments. Aim for 700mg a day in as many dif­fer­ent foods as pos­si­ble – but re­mem­ber that you also need Vi­ta­min D (from sun­shine, eggs and oily fish, or sup­ple­ments) to aid cal­cium’s ab­sorp­tion.

Cheese is an easy source of cal­cium, with 200mg in a match­box-sized por­tion of ched­dar. But don’t rely too heav­ily on it, warns nu­tri­tion­ist Dr Mar­i­lyn Glanville.

“Cheese is acidic so, iron­i­cally, too much can up­set the al­ka­line en­vi­ron­ment you need for healthy bones. Try or­ganic, nat­u­ral yo­gurt – it’s non-acidic, easy to di­gest, packed with pro­bi­otics for all-round health and con­tains 200mg cal­cium per 125g por­tion. Good non-dairy sources of cal­cium in­clude al­monds, se­same seeds, pulses, green veg, brown rice, eggs, quinoa, and tinned fish (with edi­ble bones).

“If you top up with a sup­ple­ment, look for cal­cium cit­rate, which is the same form of cal­cium you get from food. The other type – cal­cium car­bon­ate – is es­sen­tially chalk, and your body will strug­gle to ab­sorb it.”

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