This vitamin is derived from two sources: retinoids (from animal food sources) and carotenoids (found in fruits and vegetables). Nieves encourages consumers to eat healthy amounts of Vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables. Good sources include:
- Lettuce (romaine and loose leaf)
- Sweet potatoes
More on bone health
Some factors that affect bone health — generally measured in terms of bone density, or bone mass — are beyond a person's control, Nieves says. Women are more prone than men to low bone mass that can progress to osteoporosis. Caucasians and Asians are at greater risk than Hispanics, and those three groups are at greater risk than African Americans. (For a detailed list of risk factors, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website.)
"While people can't control all risk factors for bone disease, there is one they can control: their diet," Nieves says. "Bone is living tissue that needs calcium and vitamins and nutrients because, constantly through the lifespan, there's an ongoing process of bone remodeling to refresh the skeleton."
"Big Shells" Stuffed with Ricotta, Mascarpone and Spinach
Counting the sprinkling of parmigiano at the end, a serving of this pasta contains more than half the recommended daily allowance for calcium.
From Chez Panisse Café Cookbook by noted chef Alice Waters, this recipe for calcium-rich kale is low in fat and high in flavor.
Polenta Lasagna with Spinach, Zucchini, Herbs and Fontina
By layering cheese and vegetables with slices of cornmeal polenta, this variation on lasagna packs each serving with more than half the recommended daily allowance of calcium.
Baked Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce
The Vitamin D in salmon (and other fatty fish) helps the body absorb calcium, which is also in the herb-spiked yogurt sauce.
Strawberry Yogurt Mousse
This quick-to-make, creamy dessert delivers nearly a fourth of the recommended daily allowance for calcium.
Also of interest: Eat for a healthy heart. >>