Calcium: The Nutrient Your Body Needs for Optimal Health and Wellness

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Calcium: The Nutrient Your Body Needs for Optimal Health and Wellness

What is Calcium?

Calcium is one of the most essential minerals all living organisms require for survival, including humans. Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fortified goods are dietary sources of calcium. Calcium is abundant in the human body in the form of bones and teeth. Human teeth and bones have 99% of the entire body’s calcium; the remaining 1% is found in blood, tissues, and muscles. Maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other body parts is also necessary. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function. Along with calcium, people also need vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.

Why Does the Human Body Need Calcium?

The human body needs calcium to help blood vessels expand and contract. It also contracts muscles to help send messages through the nervous system and allows glands to secrete hormones. Bones are continuously being remodeled, and calcium keeps moving in and out. In children and teenagers, the body builds new bone quicker than it breaks down old bone, increasing total bone mass. This process of forming new bone and breaking down old bone continues until age 30. However, in adults, especially postmenopausal women, their bones are so weak that they break down faster than they build. Also, low calcium intake leads to osteoporosis.

How Much Calcium Do Children and Adults Need?

The amount of calcium needed for healthy bones and teeth differs by age. Read on to understand the daily calcium requirement by age and gender-

calcuim requirement

How to Increase Calcium in the Body?

Plenty of food groups give enough calcium to the body every day. One should be aware that vitamin D rich foods help your body absorb calcium-rich foods.

calcuim sources

Below are a handful of guidelines to help you select calcium-rich foods:

  • Dairy products such as yoghurt, milk and cheese are the best-known source of calcium. Calcium content is the same in whole, skim and low-fat dairy. A cup of milk contains at least 300 mg of calcium.
  • Leafy green vegetables and many other calcium-rich fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, and collards, are all excellent sources of calcium, especially when mildly steamed or eaten raw. Avoid boiling them too much, as vegetables lose their minerals if cooked too much.
  • Soft bones of the fishes, such as canned sardines and salmon, have 200 mg of calcium.
  • Foods such as bread, pasta, cereals and other foods with grains could add calcium to your diet. Always check for ingredients that have calcium in them.
  • Fruit juices, tofu and soy also have calcium in them.
  • Health experts also suggest that those aged 9 or above should eat 3 servings of dairy products to complete the need for calcium requirement per day.

Should You Take a Calcium Supplement?

Calcium is readily available in the foods we eat every day. It is essential to follow a healthy regime to consume optimal amounts of calcium daily rather than entirely depending on supplements.

Those who don’t or can’t follow a healthy regime and get enough calcium from food and beverages each day can take calcium supplements only after being prescribed by a health expert. Also, those who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet find it challenging to have enough calcium so supplements could be their best source of calcium.

>> Also Read: 6 Sources of Iron to Include in Your Diet

What Happens if You Take Excessive Calcium?

Calcium in your everyday diet is considered safe, but excessive calcium through supplements might lead to some health risks. Excessive consumption of calcium may result in constipation, kidney stones, or even calcium buildup in blood vessels, and you could also have trouble absorbing zinc and iron.

Health Conditions Due to Calcium Deficiency

Calcium helps children to build strong bones, whereas calcium in adults helps to maintain strong bones. However, inappropriate calcium intake may result in brittle bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease. Apart from rickets, osteoporosis, and osteopenia, calcium deficiency may also disrupt the normal function of other bodily processes and metabolic rates. One may experience numbness in toes and fingers, chest pain, muscle cramps, dry skin, tooth decay and brittle nails.

Summing it Up!

Calcium deficiency is one of the most prevalent mineral deficiencies among all age groups. The deficiency makes you vulnerable to health conditions such as osteoporosis. This condition causes severe, long-lasting pain and disability with a higher risk of death if not treated in time. With this health condition comes the skyrocketed treatment expenses that may cost you a fortune if you aren’t equipped with Care Health Insurance’s most promising health insurance plan that covers osteoporosis under the named ailments by serving a waiting period of 24 months. So, get health insurance post haste and secure your finances during an unforeseen medical crisis.

Disclaimer: Plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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