The human body is a complex organism with many moving parts, and its functions are dependent on various inputs. One of the most important minerals that our bodies require to stay healthy and functioning at optimal levels is calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral found in every cell in the body. It plays a central role in bone health and strength as well as general bone density. Low levels of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, brittle bones, and weak connective tissues. If you have weak bones it may be because you’re not getting enough calcium. Read on for more information about the importance of calcium and how to get it from your diet or supplements if needed!
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods with high levels also found in dairy products. It plays a critical role in the health of bones and teeth and is an important electrolyte involved in muscle contraction. It is also needed for maintaining normal blood pressure levels. The majority of calcium in the human body is found in bones and teeth, where it functions to provide structural integrity and strength. In other parts of the body, calcium is necessary for normal metabolic function, including neuromuscular excitability and neurotransmitter release. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, certain vegetables, legumes, and grains. Vitamin D, which is naturally produced in the skin in response to sunlight, is essential for calcium absorption.
Why is Calcium Important?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body, with 99% found in the bones and teeth. As such, it is essential for bone health, as well as the health of the cardiovascular system, muscles, and nerves. Calcium is key for the following reasons:
How much Calcium do we Need?
According to the USDA, the daily recommended intake of calcium for adults 19 years and older is 1000 milligrams. The amount needed for children and infants is dependent upon their age and is found in their daily recommended dietary intake.
The daily intake of calcium throughout life decreases as one ages. This is due to a reduction in the rate of bone resorption and an increase in the rate of bone formation. Therefore, throughout life, maintaining adequate intake of calcium is important to prevent osteoporosis, a reduction in bone strength and the risk of fracture as a result of low calcium intake.
Individuals who are lactose intolerant, have a reduced digestive ability to process dairy products, or have a milk allergy or sensitivity should increase their calcium intake from other dietary sources, such as dark green leafy vegetables, beans, and fortified foods, such as fortified almond milk.
It is important to note that the daily needs for calcium can be obtained from a balanced diet. However, research suggests that only about 30% of adults consume the recommended daily amount of calcium from food.
What are the Best Food Sources of Calcium?
The following are some of the best food sources of calcium, which can help you meet your daily calcium needs:
Supplementation: When You Might Need Calcium
As discussed above, it is important to consume enough calcium to meet your daily requirements. While you can meet these requirements through diet, it is sometimes easier said than done. If you find that it is difficult to consume enough calcium through diet alone, you may want to consider taking a calcium supplement.
Calcium is an essential mineral found in every cell in the body. It plays a central role in bone health and strength as well as general bone density. Low levels of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, brittle bones, and weak connective tissues. If you have weak bones it may be because you’re not getting enough calcium.
Read on for more information about the importance of calcium and how to get it from your diet or supplements if needed! If you are not consuming enough calcium, you can try to increase your daily intake from food, or you can take a supplement. Calcium is found in many foods, including dairy products, beans, and dark green vegetables. Calcium supplements are available over the counter and are generally safe for most people to take.
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