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All in Good Taste: Cool Calcium Choices
On June 1, 2010 @ 4:45 pm In All Articles
By Chef Michelle Austin
Name three ways that people with asthma or food allergies risk bone disease. Can you do it?
Sure. This is a food column written by a chef. So naturally, it figures that the first answer is diet. When it comes to building strong bones and healthy bodies, one thing we all need is calcium. The best dietary sources of this essential mineral are milk, cheese and yogurt. However, milk protein is also one of the top eight food allergens in the U.S. and not on the menu for a lot of Allergy & Asthma Today readers and their kids.
Exercise, or the lack thereof, is answer number two. Many children and adults with asthma tend to avoid things that make breathing difficult – especially exercise. But lack of exercise makes brittle bones.
Medications round out the third answer. Oral and to a lesser degree, inhaled corticosteroids rob the body of calcium particularly when taken over time – by decreasing the amount of calcium that gets absorbed by your intestine and increasing the amount that gets excreted through your kidneys. No one knows exactly the dose or tipping point at which these lifesaving medications begin to affect the bones but we do know it’s a fine balance.
But none of these issues is insurmountable. Exercise can actually build bone strength … and adding calcium to your diet may be easier than you think.
Nature provides a wealth of calcium-rich tasty treats so that even those of us with food allergies can still enjoy quite a variety:
oranges (fresh, 1) 52 mg
papaya (2/3 cup) 41 mg
blackberries (2/3 cup) 32 mg
raisins (2/3 cup) 49 mg
Leafy green vegetables:
broccoli (fresh, 3 spears) 51 mg
celery, (fresh, 2/3 cup) 40 mg
spinach (fresh, 2/3 cup) 99 mg
Swiss chard (2/3 cup) 51 mg
beet greens (2/3 cup) 119 mg
navy beans, (1 cup) 130 mg
white beans (1 cup) 202 mg
chickpeas (boiled, 1 cup) 80 mg
soybeans (green, boiled, 1 cup) 261 mg
soybeans (mature, boiled, 1 cup) 175 mg
almonds (1/2 cup) 206 mg
sesame seeds, (1 oz, roasted and toasted) 277 mg
flaxseeds (1/2 cup) 214 mg
salmon (1/2 cup canned) 181 mg
Many breakfast cereals, puddings, fruit juices and soy beverages are fortified with calcium. And candy-like supplements can be found in the vitamin section of most food and drug stores.
But before you go down the supplement/fortified road, remember that the benefit of whole foods is that natural goodies come with a host of other benefits, including magnesium, which actually helps the body absorb and retain calcium, and folic acid, which protects the body from diseases like Alzheimer’s, various cancers and even heart problems.
Here are a few easy breezy summer calcium treats for the whole family that are quick to prepare. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in one recipe (undoubtably a number of readers are), have fun experimenting with substitutions or try a different recipe. The point is, don’t get discouraged. Cooking – and eating healthy – is fun.
All are great choices for snacks or meal times and of course, they are All In Good Taste.
Orangesicle Recipe (10 servings – 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp grated orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice (room temp)
12 oz low-fat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
*nondairy substitute: tofu
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks (beaten – add pinch of salt)
1.5 cup 2% milk
3 tbsp nonfat powdered milk
*nondairy substitute: vanilla soy, almond or rice milk
Mix grated orange peel with orange juice. Stir in sugar. Chill in fridge until needed.
Combine cheese and nonfat powdered milk in blender. Blend for 5 minutes or until completely smooth. Set aside in fridge.
Heat milk in saucepan until it begins to boil. Pour hot milk over beaten egg, mix well. Pour milk and egg mixture back into saucepan; heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to stick to the back of spoon and becomes thick. *Do not let it boil*
Chill for minimum of 3 hours. Then stir 3 mixtures together.
If you have an ice cream maker, pour mixture into maker and mix for 25-30 minutes. If you do not, here’s a freezer alternative:
Chef Michelle Austin is a chef, founder of On Thyme Consulting and contributor to SOBeFiT magazine . She’s also co-owner and creative director of Just to Please You Productions, an event production and consulting company, and has been featured on food and design segments on NBC and CBS. Michelle lives in Miami with her daughter, Gabrielle.
First published in Allergy & Asthma Today, Summer 2010 
Medical editors: Carol Jones, RN, AE-C, and William Berger, MD
Article printed from Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics: http://www.aanma.org
URL to article: http://www.aanma.org/2010/06/all-in-good-taste-cool-calcium-choices/
URLs in this post:
 SOBeFiT magazine: http://www.sobefitmagazine.com
 Allergy & Asthma Today, Summer 2010: http://www.aanma.org/publication/aat-subscription/
 All in Good Taste: Raising the Bar on Breakfast: http://www.aanma.org/2012/09/all-in-good-taste-raising-the-bar-on-breakfast/
 All in Good Taste: Spread Out a Safe Picnic: http://www.aanma.org/2009/10/all-in-good-taste-spread-out-a-safe-picnic/
 Brown Bag Lunch Envy: http://www.aanma.org/2012/03/brown-bag-lunch-envy/
 Chef Michelle: Everyone’s Cereal and Are-You-Nuts Bar: http://www.aanma.org/2011/02/chef-michelle-everyones-cereal-and-are-you-nuts-bar/
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