IIt’s no secret that our bodies start to experience some changes as we age. And while some of these may be more obvious like my just-needed Liquid IV in the morning after drinking and a pair of reading glasses, others aren’t quite as obvious.
To that end, let’s talk about football. According to Caroline Cederquist, MD, a board-certified physician and founder and chief medical officer of BistroMD, getting enough calcium isn’t as simple as downing a bowl of cereal especially later in adulthood (that is, folks 50 and older ). The hard part? Calcium deficiency, which can lead to chronic conditions like osteoporosis, often occurs gradually over time. And it’s not as easy to discern or diagnose as, say, vision decline.
But before you start drinking a glass of milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dr. Cederquist points out that the most efficient way to absorb calcium is by pairing it with vitamin D, another essential nutrient. Ahead, we explain why the two go hand in hand and share a few simple recipes so you can start increasing your calcium intake as effectively (and efficiently) as possible.
Why should we consume vitamin D and calcium together for bone health?
According to Dr. Cederquist, vitamin D and calcium are synergistic, so when consumed together, your body’s ability to absorb calcium will be greater. You can increase the amount of calcium your body absorbs by pairing these foods with vitamin D, whether it’s from sunshine, diet and/or supplementation, says Dr. Cederquist.
In fact, as your doctor points out, there are many ways to increase your vitamin D intake. But if you’re focusing solely on diet, there are only a few foods rich in this nutrient to choose from. According to the USDA, some of the best sources of vitamin D include options like salmon (383-570 IU), canned tuna (231 IU), soy milk (119 IU), mushrooms (114-1110 IU), almond milk (107 IU) and orange juice (100 IU), just to name a few. For context, the current recommended daily intake of vitamin D for children and adults in the United States is 600 international units (IU).
On the flip side, the USDA recommends the best sources of calcium-rich foods such as low-fat yogurt (488 milligrams), kefir (317 milligrams), spinach (245 milligrams), kale (177 milligrams), tofu (434 milligrams), juice of fortified grapefruit (350 milligrams) and almond milk (442 milligrams).
That said, since your calcium needs are highly dependent on your age, Dr. Cederquist recommends tailoring your intake accordingly. As a rough guideline, he suggests that children up to age 18 consume about 1,300 milligrams a day and then cut back to 1,000 milligrams a day until people reach adulthood. At this point, Dr. Cederquist recommends that women 50 and older consume 1,200 milligrams per day due to the hormonal changes caused by menopause. And people 70 and older should also increase their calcium intake to about 1,200 milligrams to best support bone health.
Dr. Cederquist recommends that women ages 50 and older consume 1,200 milligrams per day due to hormonal changes caused by menopause. And people 70 and older should also increase their calcium intake to about 1,200 milligrams to best support bone health.
Similarly, vitamin D needs will also change based on age. The daily amount of vitamin D, according to the National Institute of Healths Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), is 400 IU for children up to 12 months of age, 600 IU for people aged 1 to 70, and 800 IU for people over the age of 70. years.
3 recipes that combine vitamin D and calcium for increased absorption
1. Spinach and salmon cream
Have your dinner plans made thanks to this Creamed Spinach Salmon Garlic Butter recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It combines some of the best vitamin D- and calcium-rich foods on the list, including perfectly pan-seared salmon (which is high in both nutrients), served alongside creamy spinach tossed with parmesan, shallots, and plenty of garlic. Need I add more?
Get the recipe: Spinach Salmon With Garlic Buttercream
2. Warm Vegan Mushroom Salad with Miso Dressing
We believe that not all delicious salads should be served cold. Case in point: this tasty warm vegan mushroom salad with miso dressing from Walder Wellness that tastes even more warm than cold. And aside from how delicious it is, also check out the list of our dynamic two nutrients vitamin D and calcium.
Namely, you can thank kale (rich in calcium) and mushrooms (vitamin D) that star in this simple recipe. And rest assured that this salad doesn’t skimp in the flavor department, either. (One look at the ingredient list of Miso-Sesame Dressing which features sesame oil, miso paste, and ground ginger and you’ll understand exactly why.)
Get the recipe: Warm Mushroom Salad with Miso Dressing (Vegan)
3. Orange smoothie
This sunny orange smoothie from Love and Lemons packs a one-two punch: It’s said to brighten your morning and boost your immune system with nutrient-rich ingredients like goji berries, bananas, and ginger. When blended together, they form a sunny orange hue that is instantly mood-boosting. Of course, we can’t forget that this drink contains one of our favorite combinations of vitamin D and calcium: orange juice + almond milk. Pro tip: You’ll want to make sure you’re using fortified GU to reap its calcium/vitamin D benefits. Pretty easy, right?
Get the recipe: Superfood Sunshine Orange Smoothie
Get the inside scoop on supplements for women, according to an RD:
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