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The Superfoods You Need Now

May 1, 2011

Your 20's: Boost bones with calcium. This decade marks your last shot at building bone mass. (Later on, eating well and exercising will help you maintain what you've got.) Yet according to government research, more than half of women in their 20's get less than the 1,000mg of calcium they need daily to do that. Most healthy eaters easily bank about 500mg. says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Eat Your Way to Happiness. Make up the difference with a daily 500mg calcium supplement-- either a pill or chocolate chew, whichever you like the best! (Try not to take it too close to meals packed with high-calcium foods, since the body can only absorb about 500mg at a time.)

Star Sources: 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (452mg), 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk (368mg) or orange juice (267mg-347mg), 1 cup fat-free milk (306mg), 1 ounce cheddar cheese (205mg).

Prep for Pregnancy with Folate: Up to 70 percent of neural tube birth defects (like spina bifida) could be prevented if moms-to-be consumed enough of this B vitamin. Don't wait until you see those two pink lines: Folate (and folic acid, the synthetic form found in supplements and fortified foods) begins boosting babie's development in the days and weeks just after conception, when most women don't even know they've conceived. The 400mcg you need daily (600mcg if you're pregnant) can come from food, but since it's better absorbed through a supplement, hedge your bets by taking a multivitamin, too. (Check the label to make sure it packs that 400mcg.)

Star Sources: 3/4 cup cereal with 100 percent DV for folic acid (400mcg), 4 spears asparagus (85mcg), 1 cup raw spinach (60mcg), 1 ounce peanuts (40mcg), 1 slice whole-wheat bread (25mcg).

Your 30's (Please ask Greg for a copy of the article itself and he will be happy to give you one)

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