The Importance of Calcium

What is it?

Calcium is a nutrient mineral that is essential for a variety of bodily functions such as: formation of teeth, bone health, proper metabolism, and muscle maintenance to coagulation of blood and circulatory health.

When calcium is ingested, it gets absorbed in the small intestine, from where it moves to the bloodstream and then eventually to the bones. It is estimated about one kilogram of a human body accounts for calcium. In other words, a human body consists of about 1,200 gm of calcium, of which 99% is stored in bones as well as teeth while the remaining in the cellular fluids and blood. In fact, calcium is the key supportive constituent in bones and teeth. Apart from these, its role in functions like contraction of muscles, contraction of heart, blood clotting and transmission of nerve impulses is inevitable. In general, calcium is one of the indispensable minerals that your body requires to keep it in optimal condition.


Do you get enough calcium?

If your body does not receive enough calcium, it will absorb the required calcium from your bones and teeth which makes your bones more fragile. The deficiency of calcium affects people in different ways, depending on their sex and age groups. For example, calcium is important for children and teens in order to aid for the formation of bones and maintaining the bone density. In long run, calcium deficit can lead to the development of a number of devastating ailments such as kidney stones, colon cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cataracts and high blood pressure, in addition to ensuing in conditions like recurrent bone fractures, hand and feet numbness, bone softening and muscle pain and spasms. One of the best ways to get enough calcium for your body is through the intake of healthy and calcium enriched dark leafy green vegetables.

A Must Watch Calcium Discussion

Leafy Green Vegetables - Best Source

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Peppermint Leaves
  • Okra
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Oranges
  • Damson Plums
  • Gooseberries
  • Red Currants
  • Dried Figs
  • Crab
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
Beans and Peas
  • Black Beans
  • Green Beans
  • Tofu
  • Green Peas

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  >Fats & Lipids
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
Others Dairy Products - bad source
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding

Womens Health

Even though both men and women begin to lose calcium after a certain age, especially 35, its rate of loss quickly elevate in women with the menopause. This is primarily due to the tremendous reduction in estrogen hormone during the menopausal stage, which in turn can become causative for bone weakness and frequent bone fractures. As such, the chances for developing diseases like osteoporosis are more in women when compared to men.

According to the studies, one in three women has osteoporosis in the US while this is one in 12 in the case of men. Calcium is also required in plentiful for pregnant women, as it plays a vital role in the uterus’ contraction during pregnancy as well as the production of milk. Additionally, the studies reveal that adequate intake of calcium will help to reduce the severity of annoying pre-menstrual symptoms.

The first step to make sure that your body gets enough calcium is to include plenty of food items with high calcium content in your diet, along with following a healthy lifestyle that include minimized consumption of alcohol, avoiding unhealthy foods and working out regularly. If necessary, women above 50 years can opt for taking calcium or multivitamin supplements however after checking with a professional medical practitioner.

Factors that Effect Absorption

Calcium absorption simply refers to the quantity that your body takes in from your digestive tract. As per the studies, more than 50% of calcium is not absorbed by the body. This is due to a variety of reasons, the prominent being increased intake of calcium. Hence, it is better to effectively fragment your calcium intake throughout the day rather than taking increased amount of calcium in a meal. Another key factor that affects the absorption of calcium is diet inclusive of food items high in oxalic acid and phytic acid. This in turn leads to the transformation of calcium to insoluble salt crystal. Calcium absorption is also associated with your age. For instance, the rate of natural calcium absorption is 50% to 80% in infants and children. When it comes toan adult, it is only 30% to 50% of actual calcium can be absorbed. Being pregnant, increased stress and inadequate vitamin D and phosphorus are the other factors that may hinder the process of calcium absorption.

Recommended Calcium

On the basis of your age, the recommended calcium per day is as follows:

  • 0-6 months - 210 mg/day
  • 7-12 months – 270 mg/day
  • 1-3 years – 500 mg/day
  • 4-8 year – 800 mg/day
  • 9-13 years – 1300 mg/day
  • 19-50 years  - 1000 mg/day
  • 50 and above (Male) - 1200 mg/day

Other Nutrient Rich Foods