What are the health benefits of calcium? Calcium is an important mineral your body needs for basic health functions such as the circulation of blood, the movement of muscles and hormone release. Calcium is important for tooth and brain health as it helps to make your bones strong and dense. If you don’t get enough calcium from your bones, it will take it from your bones.
What are the health benefits of calcium? Photo Credit: iStock-sasimoto
Because your body doesn’t produce enough calcium you have to get it from your diet. Foods that are high in calcium are:
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
- Dark green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus.
- Calcium fortified breads, cereals, soy products, and orange juices.
It is important to understand that your body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D from food sources such as salmon, eggs yolks, mushrooms, etc. Exposing your skin to sunlight is one of the best natural ways to get Vitamin D.
The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults should be getting at least 1000 mg daily. For women over the age of 50 and during pregnancy or breastfeeding the NIH recommends 1,200 mg daily.
One of the reasons why people over 50 need more calcium than anybody is because they have a higher risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis happens when estrogen levels drop and bone density decreases. And this makes women over the age of 50 susceptible to bone fractures and bone breaks.
It is possible to take too much calcium and some of the negative effects are:
- Kidney stones
Too much calcium can cause deposits of calcium in your blood called hypercalcemia. If you can’t get calcium from your diet, then you can get calcium from a dietary supplement. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are two of the most recommended forms of calcium supplements.
Calcium carbonate is a much cheaper supplement, and it is found in most antiacid medications. It definitely needs to be taken with food to avoid upsetting your stomach.
“Calcium is important for tooth and brain health as it helps to make your bones strong and dense. If you don’t get enough calcium from your bones, it will take it from your bones.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
The Bottom Line is calcium is important to your overall health. You can get calcium from many different foods as well as dietary supplements. Calcium works well with Vitamin D and other nutrients. And that is why it is important to balance an important diet.
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- National Institutes Of Health- https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/
- Saeedian Kia A, Amani R, Cheraghian B. The Association between the Risk of Premenstrual Syndrome and Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium Status among University Students: A Case Control Study. Health Promot Perspect. 2015 Oct 25;5(3):225-30. doi: 10.15171/hpp.2015.027. Erratum in: Health Promot Perspect. 2016;6(1):54. PMID: 26634201; PMCID: PMC4667262.