Bones do a lot for us. Without them, we would probably look like blobs and have to roll around to get places. Our muscles wouldn't be very effective, either. Besides structure, the bones do even more. Along with our teeth, bones hold 99% of the calcium in our bodies! Calcium is pretty important because the body uses it to keep our blood from getting too acidic. Here's how: when there's too much acid floating around in your blood, calcium gets pulled out of your bones to neutralize the acid. That calcium then ends up in the urine and is flushed out of the body. For more reading about calcium, diet, and bone health, here are a couple links: See what Harvard has to say about dairy. Great article on acidity, calcium resorption, & diet. A nerdy, scientific article from the American Society for Nutrition. All about Calcium, Dairy & Osteoporosis from the American College of Nutrition.
This month is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Chances are, if you don't have the disease, you don't know much about it (unless you work in the health field). So to understand Celiac disease, we first have to know what a little thing called gluten is. Gluten is a protein in grains like wheat, oats, barley, and rye. It means "glue" in Latin, because it holds bread together and gives dough its stickiness. Different grains have different amounts of gluten; the more gluten, the chewier it makes your baked goods. For example, the flour used for bagels and pizza has more gluten than the flours used in light, crumbly pastries. So what does gluten have to do with Celiac disease? If gluten goes into the small intestine of someone with the disease, it causes an immune system reaction. This means gas, bloating, etc. "True celiacs" will have these reactions even if they eat a small amount of gluten. Other people may just be sensitive to gluten and need to eat less of it. More about Celiac disease here.