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Diet & Nutrition

A Healthful Diet
Meeting Daily Nutritional Guidelines - Tips
Servings and Serving Sizes
Calcium and Iron
Fruits and Vegetables

Calcium and Iron
      About Calcium

      Children, particularly adolescents and older adults over the age of 50, need to ensure that they get enough calcium in their daily diets. Having said that, all individuals should ensure their calcium requirements are met, as this has a strong impact of the development and maintenance of strong bones. Enough calcium nutrition in one's body can help prevent calcium depletion and osteoporosis. Many older adults, particularly women, take calcium supplements to ensure their bodies are getting enough calcium. There are a number of food sources that provide excellent sources of calcium. Always keep in mind that when buying any dairy products, stick to those that are either fat free or very low in fat. This will help prevent the intake of high saturated fats with foods.

Calcium rich foods include:

- Yogurt
- Milk
- Natural (not processed) cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan
- Soy-based beverages with added calcium
- Tofu (when made with calcium sulfate)
- Breakfast cereals with added calcium
- Canned fish with soft bones such as salmon or sardines
- Fruit juice with added calcium
- Puddings made with milk
- Soups made with milk
- Dark-green leafy vegetables such as turnip greens


Getting sufficient amounts of iron in your daily diet is vital for health maintenance. This is particularly true of children, teen girls and women in their childbearing years. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and other negative health outcomes. An iron supplement is one answer, as is eating iron rich foods.

Iron rich food sources include:

- Shellfish such as shrimp, clams, mussels and oysters
- Lean meats (particularly beef) and liver
- Ready-to-eat cereals with added iron
- Dark turkey meat (remove the skin to avoid the fat intake)
- Sardines
- Spinach
- Cooked dry beans, such as kidney beans and pinto beans, peas and lentils
- Enriched and whole grain breads

The U.S. Government's Food and Nutrition Information Center offers detailed information about nutritional guidelines for Americans. The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases offers excellent resources on nutrition and other health issues.

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