How To Add The Calcium Advantage To Your Diet?
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals required by the human body. As such, the body contains far more calcium than any other mineral. It plays vital roles in building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth as well as regulating important body processes. As calcium is required for the normal functioning of the heart, muscles, nerves etc, the body tends to draw calcium from the bones if it is not readily available through diet.
Role of Calcium
Calcium is recognized as “the bone mineral” since 99 % of the total body’s calcium resources are concentrated in bones and teeth. All though only 1% of the body calcium is present outside the bone mass, it is associated with several critical functions - Clotting of blood, Blood pressure regulation, Neuromuscular contractions, Brain and nervous system functions, Intra and Intercellular communication
Most people fail to recognize the problems associated with a diet deficient in calcium. In fact, adequate intakes of calcium, right from the early childhood years, during adolescence and through early adulthood can possibly reduce the risk of developing the brittle bone disease - osteoporosis later in life. Beyond a certain age both men and women begin to lose calcium from the bones. Particularly, in women, as age advances, calcium absorption tends to decline due to hormonal influences. Therefore for women especially, it becomes all the more important to pay attention to the body’s demands of this crucial micronutrient.
Just a few minor modifications in your daily menu plan is all you need to gain that calcium advantage.
- Drink a glass of milk twice a day. Dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese, are by far the best sources of calcium and reduced fat options work just as well. Milk has a nutrition rank of 72 and only 8 oz of milk provide 300 mg of calcium while the same amount of yogurt with a nutrition rank of 79 offers 275 mg.
- Among the good non-dairy sources of calcium are seafood like fish, where the bones can be eaten, such as sardines or mackerel. Sardines have a nutrition rank of 77 and 3 oz supply 325 mg of the mineral.
- Soy products are considered excellent sources of calcium, for eg. 8 oz soy milk with a nutrition rank of 82, provides 368 mg of calcium.
- Mixed nuts with a nutrition rank of 67, are valuable resources with 8 oz providing 368 mg calcium
- Additionally green leafy vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, kale and cereals like oats assist in calcium intake.
- Today, calcium-fortified foods including orange juice, soy products, breakfast cereals, flours, and tofu are widely available for use.
- Noteworthy is the fact that Vitamin D is the nutrient responsible for calcium absorption and uptake by the digestive system.
- However, there are certain factors that inhibit calcium absorption. Iron supplements, zinc, salt and even caffeine, hinder calcium absorption. So these are best avoided while consuming calcium rich food.
In conclusion, we need to bear in mind the significance of calcium intake in order to ensure strong healthy bones and teeth as well as normal regulatory processes in the body. The latest recommendation from the Department of Health directs adults to consume approximately 700 mg calcium per day taking into account age, sex, ethnicity and activity levels.
So Go Get The Calcium Advantage......Today!
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