Calcium and Vitamin D

 

You’ve probably heard it time and time again, “Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth!” —and it’s true! But what is calcium and why is it so important?

In addition to macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats and protein, the body needs several minerals. Calcium is an essential mineral that supports bone development and maintenance, blood clotting, and muscle contractions. It’s important to know that while you may be consuming foods high in calcium, this mineral requires a source of vitamin D to help the body absorb it. There is a limit to the amount of calcium we can store in our bones but building proper stores of this mineral can prevent osteoporosis later. We can only store calcium up to a certain age, therefore consuming enough calcium and vitamin D earlier on in life is crucial. Although you store calcium in your bones, peak bone density is reached between ages 18-30 and remains stable until 40-50 years old in women and 60 years old in men. As an essential mineral, it is highly regulated. This means that if you don’t consume enough of this nutrient and your body is in need of calcium, calcium can leach from your bone stores so that the body can use it (remember, calcium is involved with muscle contractions and your heart is one of the major muscles that need calcium to contract and function properly!) However, when calcium leaches from the bones, it weakens them and can lead to osteoporosis.  The goal is to consume adequate calcium and vitamin D to build bone mass so that even if you can no longer build bone mass, you can decrease further bone loss and maintain the stores you’ve built. 

As you can see, calcium is not only vital for bone health but it also helps our heart, and muscles function properly.  Inadequate calcium intake cannot only lead to osteoporosis but also an increased risk of bone fractures later in life.  It is recommended that women and men between the ages of 19-70 get between 1000-1200 mg per day of calcium.  While that may seem like a lot, it is easier than it looks! Weight bearing exercise can also help build bone mass.

While 3-4 servings of milk or yogurt a day will help you reach that goal, for those of us who are either lactose intolerant or follow a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle; that might not be an option, so here are a few great dairy-free alternatives.

  • ½ cup of tofu has 261mg of calcium
  • 6oz of fortified with calcium orange juice has 200-260mg
  • 1 cup of soymilk or rice milk have between 100-500 mg of calcium
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Seeds contain 88mg of Calcium
  • ½ cup of almonds contain 175mg of calcium
  • 1 cup of raw leafy greens such as turnip, collards and kale provide 103mg calcium
  • 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 123mg of calcium
  • Dried herbs also provide an extra calcium boost in your diet, so make sure to add them to your favorite sauces and soups!

In addition to this, a lot of products such as oatmeal, cereals, and juices are now fortified with calcium to help insure you get the appropriate amount as well!

 

  1. “Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age.” Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age. National Institute of Health, Jan. 2012. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.
  2. “Top 10 Foods Highest in Calcium.” Top 10 Foods Highest in Calcium. N.p., Sept. 2011. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.

 

Love Your Heart with 8 Heart-Healthy Foods

February isn’t just the month of flowers, chocolates or spending time with the ones you love..but as heart health month, it’s also about loving your heart! Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death for both men and women1. Lifestyle choices play a major role in preventing heart disease as well as controlling it. With this in mind, it’s never too early to start focusing on overall heart health. Show your heart how much you appreciate it by incorporating these heart healthy foods!

Berries – Please your heart with antioxidant rich berries like strawberries, goji berries and blackberries, which are an antioxidant powerhouse! Blueberries for example, house high amounts of phytonutrients like anthocyanidins, which aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells. Consuming 1-2 portions of berries daily may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk2.

Brussel Sprouts – Tender, crunchy and just a little bit nutty, brussel sprouts have more to offer than just flavor. This cruciferous veggie contains vitamin C and vitamin A which help fight against heart disease, and vitamin Its high fiber content aids in digestion, helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk for developing heart disease, stroke and hypertension3.

Chia Seeds – Chia seeds contain a high level of soluble fiber, which helps slow down digestion and regulates blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Just three tablespoons of these seeds can provide 37-44% of the American Heart Association’s recommended amount of fiber per day. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide a 3:1 ratio of omega-3:omega-6 FA. With 3x more omega-3 than omega-6, adding chia seeds to a diet can help an individual reach optimal health by balancing out the ratio of fatty-acid intake in one’s daily nutrition. To learn more about chia seeds, click here.

Collard Greens – This cruciferous veggie is high in vitamins A,C, K and folate. It contains antioxidants and provides us with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Greek Yogurt – Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, Greek yogurt makes for a heart-healthy snack. It’s high in protein and calcium, which can help you stay fuller longer, while strengthening your bones.

Olives – Monounsaturated fats in moderation are heart-healthy fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels4. A rich source of monounsaturated fats is olives, which have been shown to lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and increase or maintain HDL (“good cholesterol”).

Salmon – High in omega-3 fatty acid, DHA and protein, salmon helps lower blood pressure and reduces inflammation5.

Wheat germ – Packed with B vitamins, the nutrients found in the grain play a vital role in maintaining heart-healthy bodily functions. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, B vitamins like folate are especially for women of childbearing age as well as any woman eating too little veggies or fruits. As an excellent source of fiber, wheat germ helps control cholesterol.

What's on our "Q"?

 The Skinny on Shakes for People With Diabetes

With so many meal replacements on the market, but how do you pick
which one is best? Taste shouldn’t be the only determining factor. It can
be important to consider the sugar, carbohydrate or even protein content.11 Nutritious, Kid-Friendly Finger Foods

Who doesn’t love meatballs? Check out this easy to follow recipe made
from lean turkey breast, which helps turn this usual calorie fest into something
a bit healthier. And while your at it, make sure to check out the Mango Tango Tortillas!

Jet-Set With Your Picnic Basket! Fun Theme Ideas for Lunch

Themed picnics are a great way to incorporate entertainment, flavor, and
even education into a family outing. Add a clever theme to your picnic by
incorporating foods from another city or, better yet, from around the world!

Also in “Q”: Remember to tune in for Restaurant Week 2012 recommendations, this Wednesday AM on CBS’s W1NY!!

 

Spring Pickings

Celebrate Spring with Fresh Fruits and Veggies!


CSA Box
New fruits and vegetables are coming into season. Eating local and seasonal allows you to get the freshest and most nutrient dense produce. Visit your local famer’s market to see what looks bright and crisp. Many farms offer one day opportunities to pick your produce for fun. NJ/NY residents can even pick their own produce at farms like the New WIndsor Farm in NJ. If you don’t want to pick your veggies, you can find out what is in season by searching online.  NY/NJ friends can learn more here. To truly get back to wholesome basics, start your own garden or consider joining a Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) Farm. CSA Farms are great for city dwellers with busy schedules and minimal planting space. CSA’s are located throughout Manhattan or deliver your seasonal produce weekly to your door. You can find out more about CSA’s in the Metropolitan area here and here.

What’s in season for Spring in New York?

Early Spring Fennel, Garden Peas, Parsnips, Snow Peas,Turnips

Mid Spring Asparagus, Lettuce, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach

Late Spring Apricots, Broccoli, Cabbage, Strawberries, Summer Squash

Here’s a nutritious kid-friendly recipe using one of my favorite Spring fruits: Whole Wheat Strawberry Pancakes

Strawberry Whole Wheat Pancakes via TasteSpotting/Adventures in Cooking
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup diced strawberries
(Serves 2)
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the oil and milk, whisking until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet. Fold in the strawberries. Heat frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and cook until there are bubbles on the surface and the edges start to firm up, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is nicely browned, about 1-2 minutes. Serve with a glass of low-fat milk and extra strawberries for a delicious breakfast the whole family can enjoy! 
Recipe adapted from Savvy Eat

Women's Health Magazine

Congratulations to Beth for winning an Initial Nutrition Consult with Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE.

Thanks to everyone who participated in nutrition counseling at the September Women’s Health Magazine  Are You Game event!!

To have a chance at winning a free consult, “like” Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services

on Facebook. Help us get 200 Likes by Thanksgiving.

Pumpkinlicious

Tis the the season of pumpkin. Pumpkin is delicious and a great source of Beta Carotene and Vitamin C. So go ahead and try these pumpkinlicious recipes.

 

Pumpkin Hummus

 

Ingredients

1 15-ounce canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons tahini

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Directions

In a food processor, combine ingredients until smooth and creamy. If hummus is too thick, you can add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 102 Calories; 5.5 g Fat; 0.9g Sat Fat; 13.1g Carbohydrates; 2.8g Protein; 4.4g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 306mg Sodium

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Ravioli

 

Ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

24 wonton wrappers

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Chopped parsley

 

Directions

Combine 1 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water and bring the 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 7 minutes. Drain in a colander. Place 1/2 cup broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in pan and bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 162 Calories; 5 g Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 22g Carbohydrates; 6g Protein; 2g Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 505mg Sodium

 

 

 

Pumpkin Enchiladas

 

Ingredients:

3/4 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 10-ounce can of red enchilada sauce

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1cup black or kidney beans

Large bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup shredded cheese

5 ounces 0% greek yogurt

5 6” whole wheat tortillas

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté onion and garlic in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Stir in enchilada sauce. Add pumpkin and stir until combined. Add cilantro, cumin and chili powder.  Spread a light layer of sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Fill tortillas with an even amount of sauce and beans. Roll tortillas and place in the pan with the folded edges facing down to keep them closed. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 235 Calories; 7 g Fat; 2.52g Sat Fat; 33.6g Carbohydrates; 12g Protein; 7.9g Fiber; 11.9mg Cholesterol; 604mg Sodium

 

Need a new and healthy chicken recipe?

Chicken Marsala: THE MODERATE MAMA WAY

Ingredients:

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

4-6 thin organic, thin, chicken cutlets

1 tbspn olive oil

1/2 cup dry Marsala wine or Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup low fat, no added salt chicken broth

1/2 lemon, juice

2 cups sliced mushrooms (can use different varieties)

MAKING THE MAGIC:

1. In a Ziploc bag, shake the pepper, salt and whole wheat flour together. Then add the chicken cutlets and shake until they are evenly coated.

2. Heat the olive in a non stick sauté pan (I love Caphlon). Brown the chicken cutlets on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Add wine, lemon juice, and chicken broth to the sauté pan. Stir until heated and then add the mushrooms. Simmer about eight minutes.

4. Add the browned chicken back to the skillet and simmer in the sauce for the next 5- 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Idea: serve over steamed spinach with quinoa for a side.

 

Move over TV dinners and say hi to this microwave meal.

It’s the end of August and we are all scrambling to get everything ready for the new school year. Sometimes meals become second priority. If you are lacking time and want something tasty, try Kashi’s Pesto Pasta Primavera. Add one half cup of beans (rec. no added salt) to this microwave meal and you have a balanced vegetarian lunch option with 18 grams of vegetarian protein and 14 grams of fiber.

100% Juice is okay

In a study reported in the Archives of Pediatrics, children age 2-11 who consumed 100% juice about 4 oz daily also had a higher intake of whole fruits. There was no difference in weight status or the likelihood of being overweight among the 100% juice drinkers. Theresa A. Nicklas; Carol E. O’Neil; Ronald Kleinman
Association Between 100% Juice Consumption and Nutrient Intake and Weight of Children Aged 2 to 11 Years
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(6):557-565.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS:

100% juice is okay in moderation. Be sure the juice you give is 100%.