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HEALTHY BONES ACTION WEEK: Starting the day strong, calcium rich breakfast ideas

By 01/08/2016May 23rd, 2017No Comments

 This week is Healthy Bones Action Week, aimed at creating awareness of the importance of building and maintaining healthy bones for life! While this is an important message for everybody, this year’s focus is women aged over 50. Women in this age group are most at risk of poor bone density due to the effect of menopause on bone density. To take part in Healthy Bones Action Week I am sharing some different ways to start your day strong. Breakfast is the perfect meal to get in some of your daily calcium intake. Thankfully calcium rich foods come in many forms, so there are plenty of options to suit varying taste buds and dietary requirements!

What are my calcium requirements?

To reach a target, we first need to know what we are aiming for! Here is a breakdown of calcium requirements according to gender and age group.

Males – Recommend Daily Intake

1-8 years – 500-700mg

9-18 years – 1,000-1,300mg

19-70 years – 1,000mg

>70 years – 1,300mg

Females – Recommend Daily Intake

1-8 years – 500-700mg

9-11 years – 1,000mg

12-18 years – 1,300mg

19-50 years – 1,000mg

51+ years 1,300mg

What dietary factors can impact calcium absorption and retention?

There are many factors, which can impact how much calcium from food our body actually absorbs and also how much our body gets rid of. Some of those factors include:

  • Oxalates and phytates – naturally occurring compounds in plant-based foods, can bind to calcium and slow/reduce its absorption
  • Excess sodium (salt) intake – can cause the body to excrete more calcium
  • Excess protein intake and low protein diets – can cause the body to excrete more calcium
  • Caffeine (tea/coffee) – especially if consumed around time of a calcium rich meal – can both inhibit absorption and cause the body to excrete more calcium
  • Low intake of fruits and vegetables – diets low in fruits/vegetables generate a large amount of acid, the body then has to buffer this acid which may result in excess calcium loss

Calcium – Some common dietary sources

  • Dairy – yoghurt, cheese and milk
  • Nuts/seeds: Almonds, brazil nuts, linseeds, tahini paste (sesame seeds)
  • Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, parsley, seaweed
  • Fish: sardines, canned salmon (bones)
  • Soy: tofu and soy milk
  • Other: dried figs, oats, blackstrap molasses

Dairy-Containing Breakfast Ideas

  • Natural yoghurt with seed mix (chopped almonds, brazil nuts, chia seeds, linseeds) and fresh fruit
  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and parsley
  • Zucchini & ricotta fritters
  • Buckwheat & oat pancakes with yoghurt and berries
  • Mini baked vegetable and feta cheese frittatas
  • Bircher muesli with grated apples, chopped almonds and yoghurt
  • Smoothie using milk, yoghurt, berries, LSA and oats
  • Salmon & parmesan fritters with tzatziki

Dairy-Free Options

  • Scrambled tofu with parsley and spices
  • Soy and linseed toast with almond or brazil nut butter
  • Omelette with salmon, spinach & parsley
  • Smoothie – using soy milk, spinach, banana, oats and chia seeds
  • Porridge with soy milk, dried figs and chopped brazil nuts
  • Sardines and avocado on toast
  • Hummus (tahini) and pan-fried tofu on toast