Importance Of Adding Calcium In Your Diet – 5 Key Points

Dietary significance of Calcium

Calcium is one of the elements that are important for living organisms. This mineral is found in abundance in the human body and quite important for the good health of the body.

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Our body needs a certain amount of calcium for steady growth and maintaining strong bones.

It is also important for the healthy transmission of signals from the brain to different parts of the body.

It can be consumed naturally by many food items and supplementary through tablets.

Need of Vitamin D To Absorb Calcium

Calcium can only be absorbed by the body if it has an adequate amount vitamin D.

So even if you are including calcium-rich food in your diet but the body doesn’t have the required amount of vitamin D, you will be unable to enjoy the benefits of calcium.

Vitamin D can be obtained from many food items such as- egg yolks, some type of mushrooms. Vitamin D is also added to milk artificially.

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The best source for getting vitamin D is sunshine. The skin has the ability to absorb sunshine and produce vitamin D. People with darker skin find it difficult to produce vitamin D. For such people, supplements are necessary in order to beat deficiency.

Here are some reasons why one should consume calcium in the required amount and food items which are rich in calcium.

Calcium requirements differ from people to people and amount also depend on different age group.

Adults require at least 1000 mg every day.

Women over 50, pregnant women, and during breastfeeding require around 1200 mg on daily basis.

1) Important Nutrient for the healthy functioning of the body

Calcium is a very important component for normal functioning of the body.

Calcium is required in the body for circulation of blood, movement of muscles, and release of the hormones.

It also helps in transmitting messages from the brain to different parts of the body.

Calcium also plays an important role in maintaining the health of the teeth and bones of the body. It is needed to make the bones strong and dense.

Bones are storage of calcium in the body. If a person does not get the required amount of calcium from the diet, the body absorbs it from the bones.

Calcium helps in the growth of the bones until a person reaches the age of 25 when bone density is at its peak. After 25, the bone density declines but calcium is still necessary to maintain bones and slowing down the process of low bone density.

It plays an important role in the aging process. People under the age of 25 who consume less calcium than necessary are more prone to develop brittle bones or other diseases later in life.

2) The Inability of the body to produce Calcium on its own

Calcium cannot be produced by the body. One has to depend on the diet to get the necessary amount of calcium. Food items that are rich in calcium are:

  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese have a high proportion of calcium
  • green vegetables are not only rich in other kinds of nutrients but also provides calcium. Spinach, Broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium
  • Nuts and seeds, for example, pistachio, sesame, almonds, hazelnuts
  • Figs, beans, tofu
  • Soy products, orange juice, calcium-rich bread and cereals
  • Other than this, eggshells also contain calcium. It is also consumed by grinding it into a powder and then consuming it with milk or adding it with food.
  • Calcium can also be consumed through supplements
Drinking milk
Drinking milk

3) Calcium- An Important Component for Women

Calcium is more important for women than men. After a certain age, deficiency of calcium can be a root cause of several diseases.

Studies have proved that calcium is helpful in easing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Lower consumption of calcium and magnesium can be responsible for PMS.

During pregnancy, a woman needs a lot of calcium. But it is not necessary for them to absorb it through dietary supplements as they can absorb it from food efficiently. They also need calcium for breastfeeding.

4) Including calcium in the diet can help in preventing many types of diseases

Lack of calcium can cause a number of problems in the body. Deficiency of calcium can be a leading cause of development of osteoporosis in adults. A little amount of calcium can also cause frail and porous bones which can lead to fracture.

It is also important for a steady growth and development in children. Children who do not get an appropriate amount of calcium may cause problems such as height issues, fragile bones, and other issues.

5) Helps in Muscle Contraction

Calcium is not only important for the development of bones but also helps in regulating muscle contractions, including the muscles of the heart. When signals are sent through nerves, it releases calcium.

Calcium helps the protein to carry out the contraction process. It relaxes the muscle once calcium is pumped out from it.

Other Reasons for Including Calcium in the Body

Calcium contributes in many different ways other than maintaining the bone health of the body. It is important for normal blood coagulation (clotting) in the body.

It is a co-factor in a number of enzymes. Without calcium, these enzymes will find difficulty in normal functioning.

It also helps in relaxing the smooth muscle around the blood vessels.

Adding Calcium Supplements in Your Diet

Calcium supplements
Calcium supplements

While dairy products are the best source of calcium, some people are still not able to get the requisite amount of calcium if they are lactose intolerant or vegan. In such cases, calcium supplements can be taken in order to get the necessary amount of calcium.

However, they have some minor side effects as well. People may experience constipation, gas, or may feel bloated. It may also impact the ability to absorb other types of nutrients.

It is an established fact why calcium is important not only for bones but also for the nervous system. Calcium taken through food is absorbed by the body better than when it is taken through supplements.

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