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Did you know that the human body contains more calcium than any other mineral?
Nashville, Ark. – Did you know that the human body contains more calcium than any
other mineral? In fact, for a 130 pound adult, almost 3 pounds of the body is calcium.
Of course, your body composition depends upon the size of your body frame, the density
of your bones, and, if you are older, how much bone loss you have already experienced.
Calcium is the main mineral found in bones and teeth. In fact, about 99
percent of your body’s calcium is in your bones. The remaining one percent is found
in your cells and other body fluids.
Calcium has other roles beside that of helping build strong bones and
teeth. Although used in small amounts, it helps your muscles contract, your heart
beat, your blood clot, and your nervous system send messages. All of these functions
are vital to your health.
It is super important for young people to drink milk! Not only are they
growing fast, this is the time that we can “store up” calcium in our bones. During
childhood and the teen years, bones grow long and wide, therefore helping a child
to grow taller. At around age 20, that phase of bone building is complete. You can
continue to add calcium to your bones until somewhere around the age of 30-35. At
this point, we can no longer “store up” calcium in the bones. From that age on, we
must just replace what we use each day.
Think of the calcium in your bones as a bank with you making a deposit
each time you consume a food containing calcium. Because bones are living tissue,
calcium gets deposited and withdrawn daily.
If the calcium is needed for functions such as helping your muscles contract,
a small amount is withdrawn. To keep your bones strong and your account full, you
need to make regular deposits by eating calcium rich foods. Think of it as your little
“emergency account” for when your nutrition choices may come up short.
Statistics show that many women and adolescents need to eat plenty of
good sources of calcium for healthy bones throughout life. That means consuming at
least three servings daily from the dairy group.
Eating foods rich in calcium will help ensure adequate intake. The best
source of calcium comes from dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
When selecting foods from the dairy group, choose ones that are low in fat, or fat-free,
to avoid getting too much saturated fat.
It’s important to remember that foods other than the dairy group can provide
calcium. This includes fish eaten with bones, such as salmon and sardines.
Some vegetables also provide calcium including leafy green vegetables,
legumes and grain products. Even some processed foods have added calcium, such as
orange juice and some bread products.
While these foods add calcium to the body, some foods take calcium out
of the body. Soft drinks and caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption. Therefore,
it is essential to limit the amount of these drinks.
Calcium is a vital mineral in our diet. Make sure you are getting the
amount you need. For more information on the importance of calcium in the diet, contact
the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on
the second floor of the courthouse.
This delicious recipe was prepared by Kash King, a member of Show Stoppers
4-H Club, for the recent 4-H Dairy Foods Contest.
1 (12.5 oz.) can chicken, drained and shredded
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sour cream
1 c. Mexican blend cheese
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing
bowl. Lightly spray a medium baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer mixture into
the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Serve warm
with chips or crackers.
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.