Beginners Guide: Calcium
In this blog post, we will discuss the health benefits of calcium, food sources of calcium, and common deficiencies of this mineral. Calcium is an essential mineral for our bodies. It helps with blood clotting, muscle contraction, and nerve function. It also supports the health of our bones and teeth. Most people know that calcium is important, but did you know that it also has other benefits? Read on to learn more about calcium and the best food sources.
The benefits of calcium extend beyond healthy bones and teeth. Calcium also helps with blood clotting, muscle contraction, and nerve function. It’s also important for pregnant women and young children, as it helps with the development of the baby’s skeleton.
Food Sources of Calcium
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium. However, if you’re lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet, there are still plenty of calcium-rich foods to choose from. These include leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), tofu, sesame seeds, and certain types of beans (such as white beans and kidney beans).
How much Calcium do I need?
The amount of calcium you need depends on your age and gender.
Adult men between 19 and 70 need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day, Adult women between 19 and 50 need 1,000 mg per day. Women over 51 and men over 70 should aim for 1,200 mg per day. Pregnant women between 14 and 18 need 1,300 mg per day, while pregnant women over 19 years old need 1,000 mg per day. Breastfeeding women between 14 and 18 years old need 1,300 mg per day, while breastfeeding women over 19 years old need 1,000 mg per day.
Calcium Deficiencies and Medical Conditions
– Osteoporosis: This is a condition whereby the bones become weak and fragile. This is often a result of insufficient calcium intake, as calcium is essential for strong bones.
– Muscle cramps: A lack of calcium can lead to muscle cramps, particularly in the legs. This is because calcium is needed for muscle contraction.
– High blood pressure: Studies have shown that a lack of calcium can lead to high blood pressure. This is because calcium helps to regulate blood pressure.
– Depression: A lack of calcium has been linked to depression, although the exact mechanism is not fully understood. It is thought that calcium plays a role in neurotransmitter function, and a deficiency can lead to an imbalance in neurotransmitters which can impact mood.
If you think you may be deficient in calcium, it is important to speak to your doctor. They will be able to carry out tests and advise you on the best course of action. Calcium supplements are available, but it is always best to try and get your calcium from dietary sources first. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leaf
It’s important to note that calcium can interact with certain medications. For example, if you’re taking a bisphosphonate (such as alendronate or risedronate) to treat osteoporosis, you should not take calcium at the same time. Doing so could decrease the absorption of the bisphosphonate and make it less effective. If you’re taking any medication, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before taking calcium (or any other supplement) to avoid potential interactions.
Calcium is an essential nutrient that offers many benefits. It’s found naturally in many different food sources, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to include it in your diet. However, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking calcium (or any other supplement), as it can interact with certain medications. Now that you know more about calcium, be sure to incorporate it into your diet to keep your bones healthy!
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