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Posted May. 09, 2006 04:18,   


Once they hit their 30s and 40s, both men and women both rapidly lose calcium from their bones. Until then, depending on how strong their bones have become from enough calcium and exercise, it is only a matter of when one will become an osteoporosis patient.

Experts recommend that menopausal women get 800-1,000mg of calcium per day, or 1000-1,500mg for osteoporosis sufferers. This can be met by taking over the counter calcium supplements such as Oscal 500D (a product of Handok Pharmaceuticals).

When taking calcium medicine, people often experience discomfort from indigestion. In this case, it is better to fulfill calcium requirements through food. For example, with two cups (420mg) of low fat milk, 80g (100mg) of tofu, 15g (273mg) of anchovies, 50g (100mg) of frozen pollack, 8g (100mg) of black sesame, and 70g (87mg) of clams, one can meet the 1,000mg requirement.

Dairy products contain lots of calcium, like milk and cheese, or fish with edible bones (dried loach fish paste, skate). Plus there is lots of calcium in fish, tofu and beans, greens (radish tops, rocambole, young radish, shepherd’s purse, seaweed, perilla leaf, crown daisy, Swiss chard, etc). If you have osteoporosis, you should avoid carbonated drinks, which block the absorption of calcium in the body, along with coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol.

Hypertension and strokes-

It is important to reduce salt intake in cases of hypertension or strokes. It was discovered that 50% of hypertension patients would lower their blood pressure if they ate less salt.

A single gram of salt corresponds to 5g of soy sauce, 30g of ketchup, 40g of mayonnaise, 50g of margarine, 10g of hot pepper paste, and 10g of soybean paste.

Salted fish and radish and cucumbers seasoned with soy should be removed from the menu, and when making soup, and put in scallions, onions, peppers, and other spices before salt. When purchasing processed foods, make a habit of checking salt quantity.

Avoid drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes, as it raises your blood pressure temporarily by 5~15mmHg. Not only does alcohol raise your blood pressure, it is also bad because it is high in calories.

If you are at risk for strokes, be careful to avoid taking Vitamin K, which coagulates blood, and don’t take too much Vitamin C or Vitamin E either.

Vitamin K is contained in vegetables and foods such as spinach, leeks, Swiss chard, turnips, shepherd’s purse, mugwort, pickled mustard leaves, kale, and parsley. Vitamin C is contained in fruits such as strawberries, oranges, kiwis, lemons, and tangerines, as well as red peppers, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. Vitamin E is in cooking oils such as cottonseed oil, corn oil, and olive oil, as well as nuts including peanuts and walnuts, and asparagus, mangoes, and avocadoes.

Foods to prevent cancer-

Aside from genetic factors that lead to cancer, most of the causes lie in environmental factors such as the chemical composition of food and radiation.

Alcohol increases the risk of cancer to the mouth, larynx, esophagus, stomach, large intestine, rectum, liver, and breast. Especially if you smoke in addition to drinking, the risk of cancer of the esophagus increases.

Also, if you drink alcohol as well as eat foods contaminated by mold, the chances of getting liver cancer increase. These include foods such as poorly stored peanut butter, uncooked soybean paste, and bread.

If the preservatives of processed and smoked meat and fish are digested, the chemicals can be carcinogenic. In addition, burnt food, especially what comes out when fat is burned, tends to be carcinogenic.

When eating fatty foods, make sure you combine them with cellulose-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables in order to prevent cancer.

(Thanks to Sungkyunkwan University Medical School’s Samsung Seoul Hospital circulation medicine professor Lee Sang-cheol, digestion medicine professor Yoo Byeong-cheol, and Seoul National University Medical School Hospital family medicine professor Cho Bi-ryong for their assistance in compiling this information.)

Na-Yeon Lee larosa@donga.com