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Your Chemistry Lesson For The Week!

Calcium

Did you know Calcium is required for muscle contraction, blood vessel expansion and contraction, secretion of hormones and enzymes, and transmitting impulses throughout the nervous system? The body has to constantly maintain calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids, as well as ensuring there is enough calcium in the bones and teeth to support their structure and continuous remodelling, constant re-absorption and deposition of calcium into new bone!

You need to ensure you’re getting your recommended daily intake of calcium, particularly postmenopausal women. Bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time.

19 – 50 year olds should aim to get 1000 mg daily

50+ should be looking to consume 1,200 mg

Include these Calcium rich foods into your diet:

Most grains do not have high amounts of calcium unless they are fortified; however, they contribute calcium to the diet because they do have small amounts and people consume them frequently. Foods fortified with calcium include many fruit juices and drinks, tofu, and cereals. Other Non-dairy sources include vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli.

Amy Casey -Fitness professional @Sittingbourne.

Sodium (salt)

Sodium is a required nutrient in the diet; it helps regulate fluid balance and promotes proper muscle function.

A healthy daily dose of sodium is between 1800 and 2400 milligrams (1 teaspoon), but people who regularly exercise will require more due to the amount they lose in sweat.

On average when exercising we sweat around 1.5 liters per hour, with the sodium loss per litre being approximately 750 milligrams.
Salty foods will replace some of the sodium lost through exercise, along with sports drinks that contain an adequate amount (typically 20-60 milligrams of sodium per 100 milliliters).

It is however important to note that you do not need to replace all of your sodium losses, just enough to prevent sodium levels becoming too low.

Chromium

Chromium can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol and even help to lift your mood!

Chromium deficiency signs include dizziness, feeling irritable without frequent meals, cold hands and feet, fatigue and craving sweet foods.
Diabetics also tend to suffer with low levels of chromium.

Levels of chromium in food vary dramatically, but tend to be richest in wholemeal, wheatgerm and rye bread, chicken, lamb, eggs and green peppers.

Chromium can also be taken as a supplement with its most absorbable form being chromium picolinate. There is not UK recommended daily intake for chromium, but in the US it’s 25mcg for women a day, and 35mcg for men.

Emma Driskel Fitness Professional@Bexley

07/10/2010