Calcium is an important element needed in our diet. Almost every part of our body needs calcium for proper functioning including the heart and nervous system or muscles.
Calcium helps to strengthen your teeth and bones. There is no doubt that it is necessary for our growth and health. Without which our body can deteriorate.
Your parents were right to make you drink milk when you were little. It’s loaded with calcium which is necessary for building bones and teeth.
Calcium cannot be produced by your body, it depends on the diet to meet its daily needs.
Health benefits of Calcium
- Calcium helps in ensuring healthy bones and teeth even as the person grows.
- Helps in sending messages through the nervous system to all parts of the body.
- Helps in clotting of the blood.
- Supports contraction of the muscles.
However, deficiency of calcium can lead to mood problems like anxiety, irritability, depression and difficulty in sleeping. About one in four men and one in two women above 50 years are liable to breaking of the bones due to osteoporosis.
Relation between calcium and osteoporosis
Osteoporosis happens when bone density decreases, and the body stops producing as much bone as it did before. So, if your body doesn’t get the needed amount of calcium, it will take it from your bones which eventually will lead to osteoporosis.
It is the second most common cause of death among women generally above 60 years. The risk factor is present for men also but is usually delayed by 5-10 years.
It can be easily prevented and the first step in this direction is intake of the right amount of calcium.
Food is the best source of calcium
Our body can absorb more amount of calcium from food than any other supplements. Studies have also shown that those who take the maximum amount of calcium from food have stronger bones as compared to those who take supplements.
Moreover, high doses of calcium supplements can cause the risk of kidney stones and heart disease. However, the benefits of the supplements can not be denied.
Some good sources of calcium are
- Green leafy vegetables
- Dairy products
- Some types of fish
- Sea vegetables
- Calcium-fortified foods like orange juice