AOL on Building Strong Bones

Here are two great tips for building strong healthy bones. From AOL’s Your Health:


Best Foods for Calcium: You're not limited to milk for calcium, as there are plenty of foods that are calcium-fortified naturally. Two ounces of swiss cheese provides 530 mg of calcium, more than twice the amount in 6 ounces of milk. You'll get 240mg of calcium from two ounces of sardines, two stalks of cooked broccoli gives you 250mg, six ounces of cooked collard greens provide 225mg and three ounces of almonds contains 210mg. Other sources: fermented soy products like natto, dried raw figs, rhubarb, pinto beans, turnip greens, and kale.

Exercise, Best Bone Builder: Adults who exercise regularly are able to maintain a good balance between bone-building and bone-dissolving processes in the body. Exercise also limits bone loss during old age. And it's never too late to start -- President Ronald Reagan began weight training at age 82. Most experts recommend a combination of weight-bearing exercise (walking, jogging) and muscle-building exercise (weight training). Remember to work all the major muscles -- that means chest, shoulders, arms, legs and back.
Strong bones are important, but swiss cheese isn't—yuck!. Anyway, check out this Followhealthlife mini-series on bone health:
Speaking of non-dairy sources of calcium—take a look at seeds! From Eat For Health:
Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds also have become more apparent. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.1 Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
I’m no bird, but I eat a lot of seeds—sesame, flax, and sunflower—daily.
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Healthy Heart and Strong Bones

A new study claims folate may help prevent heart damage. Reuters reports:
Folate-treated rats experienced significantly less functional impairment of the heart than did the placebo-treated animals, senior author Dr. David A. Kass, from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, and colleagues found. On reperfusion, smaller areas of dead heart muscle were also noted in the animals pretreated with folate.


Further analysis suggested that folate may have achieved these beneficial effects, in part, by maintaining levels of the high-energy phosphates ATP and ADP in the heart.

"We want to emphasize that it is premature for people to begin taking high doses of (folate)," Kass said in a statement. "But if human studies prove equally effective, then high-dose folate could be given to high-risk groups to guard against possible heart attack or to people while they are having one."
Ladies are looking to keep your bones strong? Health offers up a Fuhrman-friendly tip:
Estrogen helps your bones absorb calcium and enables your body to use calcium more efficiently. A few weeks of dieting are thought to be harmless; any bone mass lost is likely reversible, says Robert Lindsay, M.D., Ph.D., a past president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. But several months or longer could be harmful.


What should you eat? Foods that help you reach the daily recommendation of 1,000 milligrams of calcium-but you don't have to count on dairy if you're worried about fat. Collard greens (179 mg of calcium per serving), kale (90 mg), broccoli (90 mg), and almonds (71 mg) are great calcium sources. Supplements can be helpful, too, but don't ignore this: Diets loaded with fruit and veggies are linked to a lower incidence of osteoporosis.
I guess all we need is a great source of both folate and calcium. Dr. Fuhrman’s got one:
Asparagus is one of the most healthful foods on the planet. It leads nearly all fruits and vegetables in the wide array of nutrients it supplies. Ten ounces (one box of frozen spears) have only 68 calories and 9 grams of protein, yet it is like a vitamin pill, giving you a variety of minerals such as selenium, zinc, calcium, copper, and manganese. Plus, it is very rich in folate.
Sure, there are others, but come on—ASPARAGUS ROCKS!