Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body; it plays a vital role in bone formation and teeth development.
Other roles played by calcium in your body
• It regulate activities of the muscle, such as relaxation and contraction
• Forming and strengthening the bones and teeth
• Regulation of heart functions
• Assist in blood clotting system
• Enzyme function
• Transmission of message through your nervous system
If your body doesn’t get enough calcium from your diet, it will drain calcium from the bone which could weaken your bones. Deficiency of calcium can cause many symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability and lack of sleep.
Most of us are confused about the right amount of calcium intake to protect their bones and their overall health. Quite a number of people are not getting the right amount of calcium daily and statistics show that approximately 1 in every 2 women and approximately one in four men who are above 50 years old develop bones complications due to osteoporosis.
Ways in which the body gets calcium
There are two main ways in which the body gets calcium that it requires. The first and also the simplest way is through the food that we eat or the supplements that we take. But if you are not getting enough calcium, your cells and body will get what it require but in a very different style, pulling the calcium from the bones. That’s the reason why diet is everything.
Getting the right amount of calcium in the diet is not only for older people but also important for kids, teenagers, and young adults. If you make smart food choices, it will help you avoid complications later in the future. Calcium deficiency in young children can lead to rickets.
How does lack of calcium trigger osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease; it is characterized with loss of bone mass. With this issue you are vulnerable to bone fracture, which can lead to inability to walk. Men are also prone to osteoporosis but 5 to 10 year later compared to women.
Some of the best sources of calcium are:
• Greens and vegetables
Most vegetables , especially leafy green ones, turnip green; collard greens, kale, cabbage, romaine lettuce, broccoli, summer squash, celery, beans and Brussels sprouts are the best sources of calcium.
All dairy products are rich in calcium which are be easily absorbed by your body. These include cheese, milk and yogurt.
Another good source of calcium are all types of beans: pinto bean, black beans, white beans and kidney beans.
• Spices and Herbs
You can make your food tasty and healthy with a little basil, dill, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary oregano, and spearmint all of which contain calcium.
Factors that reduce calcium in your body
• Salty diet
• Drinking much caffeine everyday
• High alcohol intake
• A lower level of vitamin D
• Less physical activities
• A higher level of fibre intake
Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking nutritional food supplement