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Calcium: The secret to healthy ageing

Boost your bone health and give your body all the calcium it needs to keep not only your skeleton strong, but to also assist with muscle contraction, blood clotting, and the transmission between nerves.

And there’s science to prove it…a study in Australia followed over 7 000 elderly residents in thirty age-care facilities. The residents were offered up higher intakes of dairy over a two-year period. Results showed an almost 50% decreased risk of hip fracture, 33% decreased risk for all fractures, and 11% decreased risk for falls.

Convinced? Include dairy products such as milk, maas, yoghurt and cheese into your diet to up your calcium intake with these tips: 

  1. Choose nutritious hydration: A dry mouth is a common symptom in ageing, so offering up more nutrient-filled liquids like milk is well-received by parched lips. Keep it simple and enjoy plain, or blend with fruit like bananas, strawberries, or mango for a more complete meal. For extra excitement on the taste buds, make a milky iced coffee or spiced latte with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.
  2. Tasty calorie boost: Loss of appetite, related to medication, change of hormones, and decreased physically activity in the elderly can lead to quick and unintended weight loss and wasting in the elderly. Pump up the flavour using herbs, spices, and mouth-watering ingredients in your favourite dairy product. Think cinnamon milk at breakfast, cocoa maas-shake as an on-the-go snack, cheesed topped with sweet chilli sauce and peppadews on crackers. If appetite is low and/or too much weight loss is a concern, opt for full-cream milk or double cream yoghurt to provide essential nutrients but in a smaller volume.
  3. Be careful of hidden sugar: Flavoured dairy may be more appetising than plain options. However, be mindful of too many added sugars and choose products with low sugar content. One flavoured milk a day if you are not overweight can do no harm (max two teaspoons of added sugar)
  4. Hearty comfort food: In the colder months, prepare creamy soups or stews using milk, maas or yoghurt. Think curries made with plain yoghurt, milk stirred into soups, or maas over hot porridge  for breakfast. Warm, comforting dishes can be appetizing. Melkkos is also an old time favourite to recall fond memories of growing up.

For more health tips related to dairy products, visit Rediscover Dairy.

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