Mission: Nutrition – Eating Well as You Age (Part 2)

In this installment of eating well as you age, we will take a look at Osteoporosis. This degenerative disease decreases bone strength and increases the likelihood of broken bones. It’s the most common cause of this injury among senior citizens. Bone is a dynamic living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the development of new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone. This can cause your bones to become porous and brittle.


Osteoporosis can creep up silently in its early stages, without any typical symptoms or warning signs until an actual fracture or break occurs. However once bones do become weakened you may experience: Back pain, a stooped or hunched over posture, and gradual loss of height.


We’ve always been taught to drink milk to provide your body  with calcium which is essential to build strong teeth and bones. But, there are a wide variety of non-dairy calcium rich foods that you can enjoy, which is especially important if you are lactose intolerant, a condition that can occur more frequently the older you get.


Kidney Beans-

These meaty little morsels are packed with calcium, fiber, and protein. They can add heft to any meal and keep you full and satisfied for hours.


This pungent and powerful herb helps to increase calcium absorption in the body and increases the secretion of estrogens, which is responsible for maintaining strong bones. Garlic contains high levels of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C.


This grain is a good source of Magnesium and Folic acid. Studies have shown that women with osteoporosis have lower bone magnesium content and other indicators of magnesium deficiency than people without osteoporosis.


A wonderful fresh component to any dish, parsley contains high levels of Iron, potassium, as well as Vitamins A, K, and C. All of which help prevent bone loss. Vitamin K also helps the body better absorb calcium from other nutritional sources.


Explore new culinary territory and prevent bone degeneration with this bounty from the Bayou. Red beans and rice is a popular Cajun/Creole dish that will spice up your menu and take an ordinary weeknight meal from mundane to Mardi Gras!

Red Beans and Rice                 Red beans and rice




  • 1 pound dry kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2-3 scallions (white and green parts) sliced



  1. Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
  2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, and Cajun or Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice. Garnish with fresh parsley and sliced scallions.

More healthful and mouth watering recipes await. Look for our next installment of Mission: Nutrition-Eating Well as You Age (Part 3), where we take a look at Immune System Deficiencies.