Do you know the Silver Support of Your Body? OR The most abundant mineral with 99 percent stored in bones and teeth, the remaining found in blood and soft tissue? Well, the buzz is all about CALCIUM, the shiny mineral which aids in muscle contraction, secretion of hormones and structural support to the body.
Read on to get a closer picture on what’s worth to guzzle a glass of milk every day and find out about the benefits and sources of Calcium.
Calcium is essential for life and health. Without this, your muscles wouldn’t contract correctly, your blood wouldn’t clot and your nerves wouldn’t carry messages and just imagine, 99% is found in bones and teeth which support that great structure your body has! So, it is important for you to find out the best food sources of calcium.
In fact, Calcium continues strengthening your bones until the age of 20-25 years and then later helps in maintenance as well as reducing the loss of bone density in the process of aging.
A 2010 study carried out in North Carolina State University found that adequate Calcium early in life may protect against obesity later on.
Benefits of Calcium
Calcium provides the following benefits. Also, the calcium health benefits are innumerable:
- Promotes strong Bones.
- Lowers Blood pressure.
- Reduces the risk of Colon Cancer.
- Reduces symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
- Aids in the transmission of nerve impulses and control of muscle contraction.
- Releases chemical messengers for communication between nerves.
- Regulates chemical signalling between cells.
- Regulates the hormone and enzyme production (regulation of digestion, fat metabolism, energy production).
- Prevents clotting of blood.
- Helps in healing wounds quickly.
Natural Sources of Calcium
Grab the following sources of Calcium in food:
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt,buttermilk, cheese and low fat milk.
- Canned fish like Sardines.
- Green veggies such as Broccoli, Spinach and Green Peas.
- Soy products like tofu, soy milk.
- Calcium Fortified foods.
Foods that reduce Calcium in your Body
On contrary to the food sources for calcium, beware of the following rival troops that reduces Calcium in our body :
- Phosphorus, sodium, alcohol, coffee and white flour aids the loss of calcium from the body.
- Too much protein, fat and sugars, oxalic acid in spinach, chocolate, radish and phytic acid in whole grains can have a negative effect on absorption.
- Tetracycline, diuretics, glucocorticoids impair the absorption of both.
Deficiency of Calcium may lead to:
- Tetany – characterized by muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
- Osteoporosis – in which the bones become porous and break easily.
- Joint pains.
- Heart palpitations.
- Increased cholesterol levels.
- Slow pulse rates.
- Impaired growth.
- Excessive irritability or nerves.
- Brittle nails.
Who are at its Risk?
Generally, all humans lose bone density starting between the ages of 30 and 40. Excessive bone loss affects mostly women who are 45 and older.
People with inadequate calcium intake during the growth period of life are at higher risk of age related bone loss and fractures as the calcium is drawn from the bones to meet the requirements.
By now, I guess you are planning to check on the Calcium intake in your diet! But, hang on to your seat because, as I am not yet done. Taking Calcium is just not enough, unless you combine it with your adequate sunshine vitamin (Vitamin D), Vitamin K and Magnesium to get the best of it!
Estrogen, which is a female hormone, is helpful in absorbing calcium as well. The production of this hormone generally decreases with age i.e., post-menopausal phase as a result, calcium absorption is decreased leading to easy fractures in women.
In today’s fast paced world, it so happens that you may not be able to have adequate Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods, hence, the need arises for Calcium and Vitamin D supplements. While, benefits of calcium supplements are in plenitude, but one should stick to dietary sources of calcium. Chewable calcium once in a while is also ok. Lastly, building stronger base with a calcium-rich diet and weight-bearing exercise in your twenties and thirties is better than preventive measures in your fifties.
For any queries or suggestions please write in the comments section below. Also do share this valuable information with your family and friends, especially with those who are suffering from Calcium Deficiency.