In the United States we rely on milk as a basic
source of calcium, and 2 cups of milk, or an equivalent
amount of cheese or other dairy products except
butter, go a long way toward supplying all the calcium
needed for the day.
But milk is not the only source. Dark green leafy
vegetables, such as collards, mustard greens, or turnip
greens, provide some calcium, and salmon and sardines
supply useful amounts of it if the very tiny bones are
Phosphorus. Phosphorus is necessary for
building bones and teeth. Milk, cheese, eggs, meat,
legumes, nuts, whole grain cereals, and vegetables are
good sources of this mineral.
Iron. Iron carries oxygen in the blood. The
best sources of iron are meats (especially liver).
But foods from some plants, such as dried beans,
dark green leafy vegetables, and grains, are good
sources of iron, especially when eaten along with
foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body
absorb iron better.
Iodine. The most important fact about iodine is
that a deficiency of it can cause a goitera swelling of
the thyroid gland.
Important sources are seafoods,
plants grown in the soil near the sea, and iodized salt,
which is used in all Navy messes.
Salt. Salt is needed by everyone. A person
needs about 1 level teaspoon of salt per day and more
when a person perspires a great deal. The average
intake of salt is from 2 to 3 teaspoons daily, which is
enough for a person drinking up to about 4 quarts of
water. A person who is not getting enough salt will
Many Americans eat more salt and sodium than
we need. Salt contains sodium and is already
present in many canned or processed foods. Excess
salt contributes to high blood pressure in some
Sodium (salt) has been reduced in AFRS
recipes to minimum acceptable levels. Sodium can
be further reduced in recipes by using the following
Season food with herbs and spices instead of
high-sodium items like salt, soy sauce, or steak
Choose fresh rather than canned food items.
Look for prepared foods that say low or reduced
sodium on the label.
VITAMINS. There are about 13 vitamins that are
absolutely necessary for good health. Four are called
fat-soluble vitamins because they dissolve in fat. These
are vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are digested and
absorbed with the help of fats from the diet. These
vitamins can be stored in the body for long periods of
time, mostly in fatty tissue and in the liver.
Nine other vitamins are called water soluble.
They include eight B vitamins and vitamin C. These
vitamins are not stored in the body very long, so you
need to eat foods that are good sources of these
vitamins every day.
A few of these vitamins are of great importance and
you should know what foods provide them.
Vitamin A. This vitamin plays a very important
role in eye function and in keeping the skin and mucous
membranes resistant to infection. Although vitamin A
occurs only in foods of animal origin, the deep yellow
and dark green vegetables and fruits supply a
materialcarotenethat your body can turn into
Vitamin A is found in yellow, orange, and green
vegetables; yellow fruits; and in the fat of animal
products like fish, milk, eggs, and liver. Both cheese
made from whole milk, and margarine enriched with
vitamin A supply this vitamin.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is not
completely understood, but it is considered important in
helping to maintain the cementing material that holds
body cells together. Vitamin C is needed for wound
healing; for development of blood vessels, bones, teeth,
and other tissues; and for minerals to be used by the
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, melons, berries,
leafy green vegetables, broccoli, raw cabbage, spinach,
and turnip and collard greens. Potatoes and sweet
potatoes provide helpful amounts of vitamin C and so
do tomatoes and peppers.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D is readily available in
fortified milk. Sunlight enables the body to produce
this vitamin if it has a chance to shine directly on the
skin. Vitamin D is needed for using calcium and
phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D
is added to most milk. It is also found in fatty fish, liver,
eggs, and butter.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps preserve the cell
tissues. Although vitamin Es exact role in the body is
not fully understood, it is being explored as an
antioxidant that may retard some aspects of the aging