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Nutrition - Calcium

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Unless you've been living in a cave, chances are you've seen one of those Got Milk? ads in a magazine or on a billboard (you know, the ones featuring every celebrity from 50 Cent to the cast of High School Musical sporting milk mustaches). But do you know why milk is so good for you? Well, there are lots of reasons, but it's mostly because it's a great source of calcium. Read on for the 411 on this mineral!

Calcium - Why Is it Good for You?

Did you know that calcium is a mineral that's already in your body? It's what keeps your bones and teeth sturdy, but that's not the only thing that calcium does. It also helps your muscles work properly and ensures your nerves are able to properly transmit messages around your body. Even your blood needs a healthy dose of calcium in order to properly clot (clotting happens whenever you cut yourself, as the blood hardens to stop the bleeding). It's for those reasons that you need to have a lot of calcium running throughout your body, because if you start to run low, your body is forced to start taking the calcium out of your bones. When that happens, your bones become weak, increasing your chances of developing osteoporosis (a disease that causes your bones to become extremely brittle).

Calcium - What Foods Can it Be Found In?

Obviously, milk and other dairy products are the best sources of calcium. And low-fat dairy products are an excellent way to increase your intake of calcium without having to worry about the extra fat intake. Not everybody likes dairy products though, and some people are even allergic to them. No problem - there are plenty of other sources of calcium! Most green vegetables have a good amount of calcium in them, particularly spinach and broccoli. There are even special kinds of orange juice and cereal that have been enhanced with calcium. If none of these options appeal to you, vitamin supplements are a quick and easy option.

Calcium - Milk Rocks!

When you grab some milk from the school cafeteria this year, you might notice a pic of Hilary Duff, Elliott Yamin,or the Jonas Brothers on the side of the milk carton. They're just some of the artists who have joined the Milk Rocks! campaign, a new music, entertainment and action sports site that's aiming to make milk cool in schools, on the web and in concerts! By making pop icons the face of milk consumption, Milk Rocks! is hoping to promote healthy nutrition to kids in a fun way. Head over to www.milkrocks.com to check out all the Milk Rockers, download songs and ringtones, check out sports videos, play games, enter contests and more!

Calcium - Did U Know?

  • Kids and teens need the most calcium cuz your bones grow the most during this time. The recommended daily intake of calcium for teens aged nine to 18 is 1,300 mg, or about three servings of dairy.
  • Calcium was discovered way back in 1808 by a scientist named Humphrey Davy, who named it after the Latin word calcis (it means lime).
  • Nelly was the first rapper to be featured in the Got Milk? ads.
  • Dairy Month is observed across the US in June.
  • For more ideas on how to increase your calcium intake, check out this site!
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