Calcium is an essential dietary mineral for strong teeth and healthy bones, a constant blood calcium level is important for the maintenance of normal heartbeat as well as usual functioning of muscles and nerves. In this article, we are going to discuss more Calcium.
Calcium is very important to building dense, strong bones when you are young and also keeps them strong throughout your life. Blood-clotting systems, heart, nerves, and heart also need calcium to work. You need to have the fundamentals of healthy eating in order to grow healthy. The main sources of calcium are milk and dairy products. Other sources of calcium are nuts, beans, grains and more. There are calcium supplements that you may consider taking whenever your diet falls short. Before taking a calcium supplement, you need to know the importance of calcium and the types of supplement that you can choose.
Table of Content
- What is Calcium?
- The health benefits of Calcium
- Best sources of Calcium
- How much calcium do you need?
- How to up your calcium intake
- Calcium supplements: What you need to know
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a chemical element that is important for living organisms, as well as humans. It’s needed for maintaining, repairing and building cells, tissues, and organs in your body. Every day we lose calcium through our sweat, hair, skin, feces, and urine and our body has no capability to produce their own calcium. That is the reason why you need to eat food that has calcium in order to fits your body calcium needs. Otherwise, your bones can get weak and they can easily break. About 99 percent of the calcium that is found in our bodies is in our teeth and bones.
The Health Benefits of Calcium
Calcium is very important in the growth, development, and maintenance of bone. This mineral will continues to strengthen human bones up to the age of 20-25 when the person bone density is highest. After that age, normally the density of the bones starts to decline, however, calcium continues to assist in the maintenance of the bones and minimizes the bone density loss whenever you are aging.
Individuals who take less amount of calcium when at the age of 20’s have a high risk of having osteoporosis or brittle bone disease later in life since all the calcium has been drawn from bones.
Calcium plays a major role in the regulation of muscle contraction, together with heart muscle beating. Whenever the muscle is stimulated, the calcium is released and will assist the proteins in muscle to do the work of contraction. When the calcium is pumped out of the muscle, the muscle relaxes.
Calcium is also needed in blood coagulation (clotting). The clotting is a very complex process and involves some several steps. The Calcium does a very important role in several of these steps.
Calcium is a substance that is needed in many enzymes. This indicates that whenever there is no calcium in your body, the enzyme cannot work efficiently as needed. On the other hand, calcium affects muscle smoothness and will course it to relax. It’s also important to know that vitamin D need to be present for easy absorption of calcium.
Best sources of Calcium
Calcium-Rich Food Sources
One of the best sources of calcium is food. Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese have a high content of calcium. There are also some green vegetables that contain a small amount of calcium. Some cereals, breakfast foods, juices bottled water also comes added with calcium on them.
Calcium supplements contain vitamin D and this makes more beneficial for bone maintenance and health than taking calcium alone. The calcium that you need from supplement be determined by the amount you get from food. Calcium supplements are accessible in a wide range of measures including liquid and chewable and come in a different amount. Look for the one that meets your needs such as cost, convenience, and availability.
How much calcium do you need?
It’s very essential that if you do not get the amount of calcium needed, your body will take calcium from teeth and skeleton and take it elsewhere leading to weakening of bones. Therefore you need to take enough amount of calcium. According to research, below are the current recommendation of calcium that you need to have.
- Men over 70 years: 1,200 mg per day
- Women over 50 years: 1,200 mg per day
- Men 70 and younger:1,000 mg per day
- Women 50 and younger: 1,000 mg per day
How to up Your Calcium Intake
The upper limits of calcium intake should be 50 and 2,000 mg per day for people over 50 and, 500 mg per day for people up to age 50. Food that contains calcium is mainly tofu, beans, nuts, and certain leafy greens.
Calcium Supplements: What you need to know
When you have a low intake of calcium, it can result in osteoporosis. Women have high risks of getting this decrease and many doctors recommend them to take calcium supplements. You may also consider taking calcium supplements if you have osteoporosis.
- When you are being treated with corticosteroids for a long time
- Follow a vegan diet.
- Have a high-sodium diet or high-protein as it can cause the body to excrete more calcium.
- When you have inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease
Adequate dietary of calcium intake is very essential to minimize the risk of osteoporosis. Consuming sufficient vitamin D and calcium will build and maintain bone density and strength and will also assist to slow bone loss. Dairy products and milk are the main sources of calcium for many individuals. However, Calcium supplements can assist people with the risk of osteoporosis and people who do not consume enough calcium in their diet.