catch up on calcium

By Health Promotion Board

calcium

We've learned how the Healthier Choice Symbol helps us make smarter food decisions, and how choosing whole-grains benefits our health — its high fibre content boosts bowel movements, for example.

We definitely want to add more of such beneficial nutrients into our diets. How about one that helps us build strong teeth and bones so we can greet each day with a winning grin and a spring in our step?

Yes, we're talking about calcium, another important nutrient we need in our diet. And the "Higher in Calcium" variant of the Healthier Choice Symbol can help us with that.

What does the "Higher in Calcium" variant tell us about a food product? These labelled products contain at least 25 percent more calcium than similar products that don't carry the symbol.

You'll find this variant on items such as milk and milk products — yoghurt, for example — as well as calcium-fortified soy products like tofu and soy milk.

Why do we need calcium in our diet? The nutrient helps us develop strong bones and teeth, and keeps our muscles and nerves working properly — essentially, we need calcium to stay strong (and to flash our pearly whites).

Calcium also regulates enzyme activity, and is crucial for several bodily functions such as blood clotting.

A healthy, varied diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones and increases risk of fractures.

So, if you want your bones to remain strong and last your entire lifetime, catch up on calcium! The next time you're at the supermarket, be sure to pick food items that come with the "Higher in Calcium" variant.

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