We all know what calcium is. But do we know everything about it? How important is it, and when should we start taking calcium supplements to help our body function properly? If you don’t, then you have landed in the right place! Calcium is an essential vitamin our body needs to function correctly. Not only does it keep our bones healthy, but it can also regulate our blood pressure.
Wish to know more? Then read on as we discuss how vital calcium vitamins are for us, where we can find them, and who needs a steady dose of calcium. So, let’s get started!
One of the significant reasons calcium is essential for us is because it has a vital role in blood clotting. The clotting process is long and complicated, and one of the vitamins helping this process is calcium.
It regulates muscle function, mainly the muscles in our heart. For example, it relaxes the muscles surrounding our blood vessels. Studies have shown a link between lower blood pressure and higher calcium consumption.
People also sometimes take calcium with vitamins like Vitamin D to help their bodies better absorb the calcium to improve their cardiovascular system.
The bones and teeth contain around 99 percent of the calcium in the human body. Calcium is necessary for bone formation, growth, and preservation. It aids in developing a child’s bones as they grow older. Calcium helps maintain bones and decreases bone density loss, a natural part of the aging process, even after a person has stopped growing.
Females who have already gone through menopause are more likely to lose bone density than males or younger. As a result, they are more likely to develop osteoporosis, and a doctor may suggest calcium supplements.
Researchers also believe that calcium can help regulate muscle contraction. Let’s see how this happens. When a nerve in our body stimulates a muscle, our bodies release calcium. This calcium, in turn, helps the muscle proteins to work on the contraction. When our bodies push out the calcium, the muscles relax again.
Calcium also helps several enzymes to function correctly. It is also believed that calcium can help in –
- Improving cholesterol
- Lowering the risk of several conditions like high blood pressure, especially during pregnancies.
- Lowering blood pressure in youngsters
- Reducing the risk of colorectal adenomas (non-cancerous tumors)
Calcium can be found in several food items like –
- Soy milk
- Green leafy vegetables like kale, watercress, turnip leaves, broccoli
- Grains and legumes
- Corn tortillas and cornmeal
- Seeds and nuts like chia, sesame, almonds
Dark leafy vegetables like spinach also contain a good amount of calcium. However, it also contains oxalic acid. As a result, it reduces the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Thus, it is best to avoid spinach as a source of calcium.
Now, these food items do contain a healthy amount of calcium. But if you are lactose-intolerant, most of these food items are off the table. So, the best way for you is to consume calcium supplements. Calcium in vitamins supplements contain almost the entire daily dosage you require. Just make sure to consult your doctor to get a suitable dosage along with supplement brand recommendations.
Calcium is required throughout our lifespan. When we are younger, we primarily consume it through food items. However, as we grow older, our bodies cannot retain the appropriate amount of calcium from food. That is when we take the help of calcium supplements.
Additionally, if you are going through any of the following stages, your doctor will prescribe you calcium supplements –
- If you are breastfeeding
- If you are pregnant
- If you have just started menopause
- If you are following a vegan diet
- If you are allergic to cow’s milk, i.e., are lactose intolerant
- If you are suffering from bone and joint pain
There is no specific optimum calcium dosage. The amount varies according to ailments and one’s age. For example, the optimum daily dosage is 1,000-3,000 mg for a breastfeeding or pregnant woman. Again, for those between 51-70 years of age, the optimum amount is 1,200 mg for men and 1,000 mg for women.
Thus, we always suggest talking to your doctor before consuming calcium vitamins. Your doctor will consider your age and any diseases you have and accordingly prescribe a suitable amount.
Calcium is vital for the proper functioning of our bodies. It helps to improve our heart and also improves our bone health. So now that you know how necessary calcium vitamins are for our bodies, talk to your doctor, get a suitable calcium dosage, and start your healthy lifestyle! All the best.
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