Calcium in Nutrition

Calcium is essential for people of all ages. Calcium is important for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Also, it regulates the heartbeat and controls blood clotting. If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, you put yourself at risk for serious health complications such as osteoporosis, which is a bone weakness that can lead to pain, fractures and disability. Studies show that postmenopausal women that took a calcium supplement had less hip fractures. Keep in mind that only 25 percent of people that have hip fractures will recover, and 40 percent will need to go to a nursing home. About 50 percent will need a walker or cane, and 24 percent of people over 50 will die within one year after getting a hip fracture.

Calcium also sends messages through the nervous system, and it helps muscles and blood vessels contract and expand. Women need more calcium after they reach menopause and when they are pregnant. You should not avoid dairy foods and products, because you might develop a calcium deficiency.

Our bones are made up of tissues that constantly break down and build back up. As people get older, they lose bone mass. The amount you lose after you reach 30 years old depends on your genetics, ethnicity, sex hormone levels, activity level, diet and gender. You can keep your bones strong by getting calcium in your diet, taking a supplement and exercising.

In addition, calcium protects the heart. If you are deficient in calcium, you are more likely to have high blood pressure. Calcium helps muscles contract and relax- even the heart muscle. Furthermore, calcium may reduce your risk of colon cancer, but researchers are not sure why.

Calcium also benefits the metabolism. Studies show that people who consumed dairy lost more weight. Plus, calcium will help you avoid gaining weight. In addition, if you suffer from premenstual syndrome, you would benefit from taking calcium. Take 1200 mg of calcium per day because it will alleviate your symptoms.

You should eat calcium-rich foods every day. Calcium is found in yogurt, milk, orange juice, sardines, soymilk, sesame seeds, collard greens, tofu, white beans, parmesan cheese, navy beans, quinoa and broccoli. Please note that you should not consume more than 2500 mg of calcium per day, because you could get kidney stones.

Calcium is important for maintaining total body health. Your body needs calcium every day. Keep in mind that most people are not getting enough, and most people lose about 400-500 mg of calcium each day.
Experts say that people should increase their calcium intake with a combination of food and supplements.
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