Calcium is an essential nutrient: We are always careful about fats and calories. Have you ever wondered there are other nutrients and vitamins to worry about to the same extent as calories? Calcium is an essential nutrient in one’s body, especially for strong bones and teeth.
One needs to worry about its level as well because in today’s age calcium and vitamin D deficiency are very common, especially in females. It regulates the blood pH as well as controls muscle and nerve function.
If you are calcium deficient, the body will start dissolving your bones: About 99% of the calcium is stored in your bones and teeth and the rest 1% is distributed in your blood and body fluids. If you are not getting enough calcium, the body will fulfill its need by dissolving the bones and using its calcium to carry out bodily mechanism.
Calcium deficiency will lead to weak bones and teeth leading to a disease called osteoporosis. Depression, numbness, muscle spasms, and tingling in the hands and feet is also a sequel.
How much calcium do you need on daily basis? There is a certain range of calcium which varies with age and sex. Up till 6 months, you need 200mg of calcium per day. Up till 8 years, on average, 1000ml/day, till 18 years, 1300mg/day, and again till 70 years, you need 1000mg calcium per day.
Altering your diet and modifying your lifestyle can improve your calcium levels. Following are some foods to incorporate in your diet for fulfilling your daily calcium need.
1-Sunlight: Early morning sunlight is a rich source of Vitamin D. Sufficient vitamin D is required for calcium absorption and regulation. One should have 200 to 400 IU vitamin D every day. Expose yourself to early morning sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid direct sunlight between 10 am to 4 pm.
2-Calcium-rich foods: Calcium-rich foods are the best source for increasing calcium in your body because of its high absorbability. Dairy products like milk and yogurt, cheese, fortified orange juice and cereals, soybeans and dark green leafy vegetables are beneficial.
3-Vitamin D rich foods: Not only sunlight but incorporating certain foods rich in Vitamin D would benefit you as well. If you have sufficient calcium intake but vitamin D deficiency, that calcium is of no use because its absorption is hindered.
Foods like fortified cereals, fortified milk, cheese, eggs, butter, margarine, liver and oysters are rich in Vitamin D. You can consult your doctor for vitamin D supplements as well.
4-Magnesium-rich foods: Magnesium is also a very important nutrient and effects calcium directly. The mechanism for the two of them is closely linked. Calcium’s absorption and excretion are dependent on magnesium to a great extent.
The case with magnesium is same as with vitamin D. Without magnesium, you are ultimately going to have the calcium deficiency. It is essential to take in magnesium-rich foods in your diet. Turnips, avocados, cucumbers, whole grains, sesame seeds, cashew, and almonds are magnesium-rich choices to make.