The Benefits & Sources of Calcium

dairy foods
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are an excellent sources of Calcium. (Photo by USDA)

Calcium is a well known nutrient that kids and adults know the body needs. It’s the bone building mineral. It improves the body’s structural integrity by maintaining the shape and structure of bone tissue. It also strengthens your teeth. While these are the primary benefits of calcium, it is not the only one. Here’s a list of the 5 health benefits of calcium; a few more reasons to consider an additional dose of calcium.

The Benefits of Calcium

Prevents Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that generally arises with age. There is a gradual loss of bone tissue, making them porous, brittle and weak. The risk of fractures is high. It can turn into an extremely painful condition, affecting mobility. A continuous supply of calcium can stop it in its tracks.
In children, lack of calcium might cause growth deformities such as beaded ribs, knocking knees and bowed legs.

Weight Management

Very few are aware of the role of calcium in regulating body weight. It helps keep you slim and trim. How does it do this? By correcting your metabolism. It increases fat burned and reduces fat stored. So, if you have been struggling to lose weight, an extra serving of dairy might do the trick for you.

Relief with PMS

Calcium has the maximum benefits for women. The mineral controls the release of hormones that alleviate a number of premenstrual syndrome symptoms. It checks mood swings preventing depression and irritability. Muscle cramps also become more bearable.

Fights Cancer

A calcium-rich diet coupled with one abundant in antioxidants can help combat colon, breast and ovarian cancers. It inhibits the formation of malignant tumors to a certain extent.

Protects Cardiac Muscles

The muscles of your heart need calcium to expand and contract at a healthy rate. Thus, it is heart-healthy and prevents various cardiovascular issues. Calcium also keeps your blood pressure in check. However, calcium needs to be had in controlled amounts as excess can have the opposite effects; it could increase the risk of heart attacks.

Increasing your intake of calcium can provide some reprieve from chronic acidity cases. It also does some good to your teeth. It creates for a strong and healthy jaw structure, a strong base for your teeth that is equipped to fight bacteria.

almond milk
Almond milk is popular and well known dairy product that contains calcium. If boring white milk is not your thing, almond milk may be for you. (Photo by Mike Mozart)

Excellent Sources of Calcium

The bad news is that your body does not produce its own calcium. Hence, diet serves as your main source. To add, the body loses calcium in small amounts when you sweat, through excreted wastes and through the hair and skin. This lost calcium has to be replaced from the food, else the body starts sourcing it from your bones to fulfill its requirement.

Some of the calcium-rich foods include:

  • Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, milk (whole and skimmed)
  • Sea food like sardines, pink salmon, oysters
  • Green leafy vegetables like collard, spinach, kale and turnips, broccoli
  • Nuts, almonds, seeds, pulses, black eyes peas, green peas and fortified cereals
  • Orange juice, beverages, soy milk
  • Figs

To optimize calcium absorption in the body, make sure the intake of Vitamin D is also sufficient.

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