YMCA Healthy Living Magazine, powered by n4 food and health Spring 2017 - Page 5

One serve is equal to: • 250ml milk • 250ml soy, rice or other milk alternative (with at least 120mg added calcium/100ml) • 200ml yoghurt • 40g (2 slices) hard cheese • ½ cup ricotta cheese • ½ cup tinned fish with edible bone • 100g firm tofu Smaller amounts of calcium can also be found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and bread. VITAMIN D You need vitamin D to properly absorb calcium from your intestine. The easiest way to obtain vitamin D is from direct sunlight, as you make it when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light. For most Australians, sunlight is our main source of vitamin D, accounting for between 80-100% of the vitamin D found in the body. The amount of sunlight you need will depend on where you live, how fair your skin is, whether you cover up when outside and what season it is. To get a better understanding of how much sunlight you need, take a look at the UV Index via the Cancer Council website or myuv.com.au. Dietary sources of vitamin D are scarce, however two rich sources include oily fish e.g. salmon and sardines, and (this will surely surprise you) mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight! Just 100g of mushrooms that have been left in the sun for around an hour will provide you with all of your vitamin D needs. Amazing! If you’re worried you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D, speak with your GP about if you need a supplement. ACTIVITY Regular physical activity is essential in building and maintaining strong bones that will last a lifetime. The best type of activity for strong bones is weight-bearing exercise – exercise you can do on your feet. This type of activity places a gentle strain on your bones, which helps them become stronger over time. Depending on your level of fitness, age, or other health factors, you can choose between high and low impact exercise to strengthen your bones. High impact is where both feet leave the ground, like running, boxing, or fast-paced team sports. Low impact exercise, where one foot stays on the ground, include brisk walking, Pilates and yoga. If you have restricted mobility, weight lifting (hand/ankle weights) and gym equipment also helps maintain strong bones. A FEW EXTRA TIPS Watch the amount of salt, alcohol and caffeine in your diet as too much may contribute to weakened bones. References 1. Osteoporosis Australia: www.osteoporosis.org.au Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013: www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines. publications/n55 Your local YMCA offers an extensive range of fitness programs and classes, weights and personal trainers to make sure you have strong bones for life. Pick from high or low impact, group fitness or one-on-one; we can make sure your program is tailored to your age and abilities. For a comprehensive list of fitness options available, including personal training, contact your local YMCA. SPRING 2017 YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE 5