Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Wake-Up Call for Calcium via Gwyneth Paltrow

Just yesterday I read that celebrity actress, food lover and founder of the wellness online newsletter GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow was diagnosed with osteopenia, the early stages of osteoporosis when bone mineral density is lower than ideal, and may lead to subsequent bone loss. 
I was somewhat taken back when I spied the news alert seeing as, from what I can tell, Gwyneth is committed to living, eating and exercising well.  Just goes to show that anything can strike us at any moment.  And with that, I'm calling for a widespread wake-up call.  Get on the calcium bandwagon and ensure you're getting your daily fix...because none of us wants to be hunched over like a little granny, especially at the young age of 37 (Gwyneth's current year).  
What's the most fast and furious way to ensure you're consuming enough calcium?  See the list of top notch food sources below, both dairy and non-dairy if you're lactose intolerant.  Aim for 3 servings of a calcium-rich food per day to reach your rec of about 1000mg or 1200mg if you're over 50.  And if you can't go the food route, consider a calcium + vitamin D supplement.  Just be sure to take it with food for best absorption. 

Calling on Calcium  

- cheese (1 oz is a light to have your favorite cheddar, brie, gouda and more.  in moderation of course!)
- yogurt (try to look for an organic or local brand and note that most Greek yogurts, although packed with protein and delicious, have slightly less calcium than most regular yogurts)
 - milk (soy, skim, low-fat, almond, rice, lactaid...endless options and about 20% of your day's calcium per cup)
-  sardines, canned salmon (those teensy bones have calcium!), oysters, clams 

- dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens
- fortified cereals such as Total and bran flakes
- fortified orange juice (make sure it's 100% fresh juice!)
- soybeans (aka edamame), tofu, soy milk

- almonds (about 20 is a solid serving, perfect for a quick snack or to toss a few into cereal, yogurt, salads and sides)
- beans (black beans, great Nothern beans, kidney beans and more)

I'll leave you with one of Gwyneth's own recipes from her TV series paired with Mario Batali, Spain on the Road Again.  Wonder if she realized those clams were so rich in calcium and iron when cooking up this dish?!

When the cast of Spain on the road Again ate at Casa Pintos after meeting the mariscadoras in Cambados, Gwyneth was inspired by the chef‘s use of laurel, bay leaves, in the steamed clams. When they got to the Vintona Winery, she volunteered to make everyone her special clams, with enough garlic to clear your sinuses. The healthy slug of Albariño is key.

Serves 4

* 2 pounds berberechos or other clams, scrubbed
* 1 head garlic, cut in half across the bulb
* 2 or 3 fresh bay leaves
* 1/2 bottle Albariño (or other good Spanish dry white wine)
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Put everything in a deep skillet, cover tightly, and steam over medium-high heat until the clams open (yes, it's really that easy)

how much do you LOVE Gwyneth's kitchen?!  i'm slightly obsessed.

*photos courtesy of Spain on the Road Again, Kaleidoscope Blog and Little Willow.


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