Calcium

Last Updated on 1 year by Sophia

Calcium is an essential nutrient and must be included in the diet. This is very important for maintaining healthy teeth and bones. Its main function is to build and repair muscles.

Almost every cell in the body uses it in one way or another. The best way to get it is to consume foods rich in it. Many people also resort to calcium supplements. 99% of calcium is found in our teeth and bones. The remaining 1% calcium plays an important role in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle function.

That is why calcium is very important for health. Milk, cheese, beans, broccoli, yogurt, brown rice, oranges, cabbage, and peas are good sources of calcium.

How much calcium do you need daily?

Here’s a table summarizing the recommended daily intake of calcium for different age groups:

Age Group

Recommended Daily Intake of Calcium

0-6 months

200 mg/day

7-12 months

260 mg/day

1-3 years

700 mg/day

4-8 years

1,000 mg/day

9-18 years

1,300 mg/day

19-50 years

1,000 mg/day

51- 70 years

1,200 mg/day (women)

1,000 mg/day (men)

70+ years

1,200 mg/day.

 

Benefits of Calcium: Why It’s Important for Your Health

Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. From bone health to muscle function, calcium is important for maintaining optimal health. Here are some of the key benefits of calcium:

Strong Bones and Teeth

Calcium is necessary to keep bones and teeth strong. In fact, 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in bones and teeth. Without enough calcium, bones can become weak and brittle, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Muscle Function

It helps muscles contract and relax, which is especially important for the heart muscle. Without enough calcium, the heart will not be able to function properly, which can lead to serious health problems.

Nerve Function

For nerve function Calcium helps transmit nerve impulses throughout the body, allowing muscles to move and organs to function properly. Lack of calcium can impede nerve function, leading to a variety of symptoms such as hearing loss, tingling, and muscle spasms.

Blood Clotting

Blood coagulation is greatly aided by calcium. It promotes blood clotting, which is necessary to stop bleeding after an injury. Without enough calcium, the body cannot form clots properly, which leads to excessive bleeding.

Cardiovascular Health

Studies have found a correlation between high calcium consumption and a lower risk of heart disease. The cardiovascular system, which helps control blood pressure and keeps the heart pumping regularly, depends on calcium for proper maintenance.

Other Health Benefits

In addition to its role in bone health and muscle function, calcium may have other health benefits. Colon cancer is one of the cancers that calcium may help prevent, according to several researches. It may also help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for managing blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes.

Calcium deficiency occurs when your body does not get enough calcium, which is an essential mineral for strong bones, teeth, and proper body function. Calcium deficiency can lead to several health problems, and it’s important to be aware of the disadvantages that come with it. In this article, we’ll discuss the key disadvantages of calcium deficiency.

Disadvantages of Calcium Deficiency

Weak Bones and Teeth

One of the most significant disadvantages of calcium deficiency is the weakening of bones and teeth. Your body needs calcium to maintain bone density, and a lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak and brittle bones. Additionally, calcium is essential for healthy teeth, and a deficiency can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Increased Risk of Fractures

Because calcium is essential for bone health, a deficiency can increase the risk of fractures, particularly in older adults. Without adequate calcium, bones become weaker and more susceptible to fractures, even from minor falls or injuries.

Muscle Problems

Calcium plays an important role in muscle function, and a deficiency can lead to several muscle-related problems. Muscle cramps and spasms are common symptoms of calcium deficiency, and more severe cases can result in muscle weakness and even heart problems.

Nerve Function

Calcium is also essential for proper nerve function, and a deficiency can lead to a range of neurological problems. These can include numbness, tingling, and even seizures.

Hormonal Imbalances

Calcium plays a role in regulating hormones, and a deficiency can lead to imbalances that can cause several problems. For example, low calcium levels can lead to elevated levels of parathyroid hormone, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases

Several studies have linked calcium deficiency to an increased risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, some research has suggested that low calcium intake may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Food sources of calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining bone and teeth health, muscle function, and nerve transmission. While most people associate calcium with dairy products, there are many other food sources that provide this important mineral.

Here are some of the best food sources of calcium:

Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are some of the most well-known sources of calcium. However, it’s important to choose low-fat or fat-free options to avoid consuming too much saturated fat.

Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach are excellent sources of calcium. These vegetables are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Fortified Foods: Many foods are fortified with calcium, including tofu, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. These products have added calcium to make them a better source of this mineral.

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds are not only a great source of healthy fats and protein but also contain calcium.

Seafood: Certain types of seafood, such as sardines and salmon (with bones), are a good source of calcium as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

Beans and Lentils: Legumes like white beans, black beans, and chickpeas are an excellent source of calcium and are also high in fiber and protein.

Vegetables: Other vegetables that contain calcium include broccoli, bok choy, and okra.

Dried Fruits: Figs and dried fruits like dates and prunes are also a good source of calcium.

FAQs

Q1: What food is highest in calcium?

Ans: Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are some of the highest sources of calcium. Dark leafy greens, tofu, fortified plant-based milks, and canned fish with bones such as sardines and salmon are also good sources.

Q2: What calcium does for the body?

Ans: Calcium is an essential mineral that is important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as for proper muscle and nerve function, blood clotting, and cell signaling in the body.

Q3: How much calcium do I need daily?

Ans: The recommended daily intake of calcium varies by age and gender, but generally, adults need between 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. However, individual needs may vary depending on factors such as pregnancy, lactation, and medical conditions.

Q4: What blocks calcium absorption?

Ans: Some substances that can block calcium absorption include high levels of dietary fiber, oxalates found in foods such as spinach and rhubarb, phytates in whole grains and legumes, and certain medications like corticosteroids and some antacids.

Q5: When should you take calcium morning or night?

Ans: It’s generally recommended to take calcium supplements with food, and the timing of when you take them isn’t as important as taking them consistently every day. Some people may prefer to take calcium at night to help with absorption, but it ultimately depends on personal preference and convenience.

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