Calcium is an important mineral for people of all ages. Children, adults and older adults need calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Read on for tips on how to benefit from calcium at any age.
Getting enough calcium is essential for your health. It not only promotes bone health, but it’s also needed for muscle contraction, blood vessel constriction and relaxation, hormone secretion, and nervous system function. The body also needs calcium for muscles to maneuver and for nerves to carry messages between your brain and every body part.
In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood through the body and to help release hormones and enzymes affecting almost every function in the human body. An essential element, we must have calcium in our diets, but many are calcium deficient – including people who follow a vegan diet. If you don’t get enough calcium through diet, the body steals some from your bones, which might compromise bone strength and put you in a higher risk of osteoporosis.
What Is Calcium And What Does It Do?
Calcium is really a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract . About 99 % of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth. Each day, we lose calcium through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and feces, but our bodies cannot produce new calcium.
That’s why it’s important to try and get calcium from the food we eat. When we don’t get enough calcium for the body’s needs, it is taken from our bones.
What Foods Provide Calcium?
Vegetables are another food source, although determining how much calcium you’re actually getting is tricky. If your vegetable contains oxalic or phytic acid, then your calcium may be poorly absorbed because of the acids. For instance, a cup of frozen spinach contains nearly as much calcium as a cup of milk, but only a tenth as much is absorbed because of the oxalic acid. You are able to get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:
- Kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are fine vegetable sources of calcium.
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese would be the main food sources of calcium for the majority of people in the United States.
- Fish with soft bones that you simply eat, such as canned sardines and salmon, are fine animal sources of calcium.
- Calcium is put into some breakfast cereals, fruit juices, soy and rice beverages, and tofu. To discover whether these foods have calcium, look into the product labels.
- Most grains (for example breads, pastas, and unfortified cereals), whilst not rich in calcium, add significant amounts of calcium towards the diet because people eat them often or in considerable amounts.
Supplements And Vitamin Pills
Calcium supplements usually come in 500- to 600-mg tablets. You don’t absorb large doses of calcium as efficiently while you do small ones. Thus, much of a 1,000-mg tablet is going to waste, although unabsorbed calcium within the gut may have benefits. Taking a regular-size pill with calcium-fortified orange juice could also be a waste.
The calcium in many supplements is either in the form of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Research shows that they’re absorbed equally well with meals, but calcium carbonate is harder to digest than calcium citrate. People are often advised to take calcium carbonate with or right after a meal. Calcium citrate can be taken at any time.
Most multivitamin pills have a relatively small amount of calcium – about 100-200 mg.