Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is significantly required for the proper functioning of the body. It is an essential building block for the overall bone health. Out of the total calcium stored in your body, 99% resides in your teeth and bones. The rest 1 % is used to support metabolic functions such as helping the muscles to contract, nerves to send and receive signals, glands to secrete hormones and blood to clot to avoid bleeding.
Calcium is also used in many other conditions. It is used by doctors to balance high level of magnesium, potassium and phosphorous present in the blood. Calcium also prevents breast cancer in premenopausal women, when used along with Vitamin D. It also helps in weight loss and blood pressure control.
Despite of its importance, we often fail to intake sufficient calcium. If our body does not get the needed calcium from dietary or supplementary sources, it begins to take calcium from the bones. This affects the overall health of our bone structure and makes it weak.
According to gastrologist, the quantity of calcium intake increases with age due to the decreased ability of calcium absorption by the body. Infants require 200mg/day; teenagers require 1300 mg/day, adults and elder people 1000mg/day (1200mg/day with increased demand in body).
Some of the rich sources of calcium include-
- raw milk
- Bok Choy
- kale (Cooked)
Many times just having a lot of calcium does not help. Your body needs to absorb calcium for better performance of your body. You need to supplement your diet with sources that enhance your calcium abortion ability. The following minerals and food items encourage calcium incorporation into the blood and bones affecting overall health of your bones.
Vitamin D- Vitamin D and calcium are best buddies. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. It also helps the kidneys to breakdown and reabsorb calcium that would have otherwise excreted out of the body. Vitamin D could be fetched by various dietary sources. Non vegetarians can eat egg, fatty fish – salmon, tuna, sardine; beef liver, cod and fish liver oil. Vegetarians can have mushroom, cheese, milk, yogurt, cereals etc. These are some of the Vitamin D rich foods which can be healthily consumed by the body.
Skim Milk- It is a type of milk which you would love to go for. Are you a fat conscious, worry no more?
Unlike milk, skim milk has more calcium than fat. In it the calcium is actually separate from fat. Being highly rich in calcium, it is your apt choice for today.
Vitamin K- Vitamin K2 is an important nutrient to improve your bone density. In a number of cases it is found that Vitamin K has reversed bone loss and even increased bone mass in people suffering from osteoporosis. Vitamin K helps to glue calcium with other minerals into your bone matrix. Sources of Vitamin K include-Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Fermented dairy and soy, Prunes, sprout etc.
Magnesium- Magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. Magnesium suppresses parathyroid Hormone (PTH) and stimulates calcitonin which enables calcium into our bones. This also prevents calcium to collect in soft tissues of arthritics. Some of the rich sources of magnesium that lead to proper absorption of calcium in blood and bones include- Spinach, Pumpkin seeds, yogurt, black beans, almonds, chard etc.
Vitamin E- Vitamin E is another important mineral that can help you with calcium absorption. Some of the rich Vitamin E dietary intakes are- spinach, sweet potato, palm oil, sunflower seeds, trout, olive oil etc.
Boron – Boron maximizes the calcium level in the body by effectively absorbing calcium. It strengthens bone along with calcium. It enables calcium’s integration into the cartilage and bones of the body. Also it influences the secretion of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen which are required for the overall health of the body’s bones. According to the top Orthopaedics Doctors in Bangalore Rich sources of boron are – fruits like apple, orange, plum, pears, kiwi, red grapes; beans, olive, onion, potato, soybean, avocado, hazel nuts etc.
Vitamin C- Vitamin c can positively affect absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin C intake can prevent calcification of soft tissues and encourage calcium solubility. It can also aid in digestion as too much of calcium can cause low stomach acids. Vitamin C containing food items include- Guava, kiwi, grape fruit, strawberries, oranges, green and red pepper, etc.
So after reading this article, you must have realized that calcium absorption is as important as its intake is. Excessive calcium intake without proper absorption may harm the body as calcium may collect in soft tissues causing problems. The unabsorbed calcium Might also be excreted out of the body without helping the body much. From now on make sure to provide yourself with the balanced diet that ensures both intake and absorption of calcium in your body as the benefits of this important mineral is hidden to none.