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I’m on a 3 day fast. Eating nothing but drinking water. What fruits and vegi’s would you recommend to start eating again? Also, I’m lactose intorerant. I’ve tried these lactose pills but they don’t work for me. What vegtables can I eat to suppliment my nutritional intake for calcium? And how much do you recommend for me. 40yrs old, 168lbs and active?

I am not sure what your reasoning for fasting for 3 days is, but there isn’t a particular fruit or vegetable that you should begin eating after your fast. Fruits and vegetables are essential to a balanced diet and they all offer multiple benefits. Check out our  Top 10 Reasons To Eat More Fruits and Vegetables  section for more information on the heath benefits of fruits and vegetables. When talking about vegetables that are good sources of calcium, these include:

• Collard greens
• Spinach
• Green soybeans
• Turnip greens
• Cowpeas

These vegetables, however, contain oxalates that bind calcium and makes it less available to the body.  While further work needs to be done, there is evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have indirect but significant benefits to bone health.  This isn’t because of calcium, but because of the potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. As for your recommended calcium intake, for a healthy adult female, 1000 mg/day is recommended . Try this Wilted Spinach Salad for a delicious new recipe to add to your collection.

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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