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Nutra-Brain- III

By Sangita Das

MINERAL CALCIUM
A small increase in dietary calcium intake enhances the mood of a person. Calcium also protects people from environmental lead absorption as high amount of lead absorption may cause brain damage.

RECOMMENDED INTAKE: People who do lots of physical work need about 800mg of calcium a day while sedentary people do not need more. Women should ingest 1000-1200mg per day.

Sources Quantity Calcium Amount
Low-fat yogurt 1 cup 415 mg
Skimmed milk 1 cup 302 mg
Pizza-cheese 1 medium slice 144 mg
Buttermilk 1 cup 285 mg
Black molasses 1 tbsp 137 mg
Defatted soyflour 1/2 cup 132 mg
Cooked green dandelion 1/2 cup 73 mg


MINERAL IRON
It is already known that the body needs iron to avoid fatigue, apathy and weakness of anaemia. But did you know that your brain needs iron too? Iron deficiency can lead to impaired memory. One study has shown that children with even mild iron shortages have poorer memory and learn less quickly than kids with adequate iron.

RECOMMENDED INTAKE : Healthy energetic men and older women only need about 10mg/day of iron. Younger female needs more iron and their RDA is 18mg/day. Supplemental doses of iron should not exceed 30mg daily unless prescribed by a doctor since large amount iron can be toxic.

Sources Quantity Iron Amount
Boiled spinach 1 cup 6.4 mg
Boiled soybeans 1/2 cup 4.4 mg
Black molasses 1 tbsp 3.2 mg
Dried sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 2.4 mg
Boiled lima beans 1/2 cup 2.3 mg
Boiled frozen peas 1/2 cup 1.3 mg
Shelled almonds 1/4 cup 1.1 mg
Cooked, dried apricots 1/4 cup 1 mg


FROM TABLE TO TABLET
Vitamins and minerals are needed to keep the brain running as it should. But where from to get them? from the food sources or a vitamin tablet?
Doctors suggest that one should stick strictly to food sources for the nutrients. However if one is sick or lives in an area where the soil is mineral deficient, one can take suppliments through tablets. Therefore "Your food should be the main source, as the multivitamin is just there to suppliment the food and make sure that one gets all the needed nutrients."

ABSORBING POWER : Do not waste the vitamins and minerals. Use this information below to maximize your absorption power:

B-COMPLEX VITAMINS

BLOCKERS : Cholesterol - lowering drugs and anticonvulsants may interfere with B12 absorption.
BOOSTERS : Take a B-complex supplement so that the B vitamins can work together.
TIPS : Take with meals during day.

IRON

BLOCKERS: Vegetable and fruit fibres, whole grain fibre, tannic acid (in tea), caffeine and preservatives decrease absorption.
BOOSTERS: Vitamin C boosts iron absorption from fruits and grains.
TIPS: Take between meals; buy iron supplements labeled "ferrous" and not "ferric".

CALCIUM

BLOCKERS : Food fibre, protein and antibiotics interfere with absorption.
BOOSTERS : Lactose ( milk sugars) and vitamins C and D enhance absorption.
TIPS : Take before going to bed; exercise improves utilization.

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Mrs. Sangita Das has done her masters in Nutrition Science from Calcutta University. She has featured in many Television shows relating to cookery, healthy diet and food. She has edited and published a book on Nature Diet Therapy entitled "Diet Therapy - A Few Recipes Related To Some Common Ailments". You can also visit the Diet Therapy site hosted by Mrs Das.


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