Why Calcium Is Needed For Good Health?
‘Calcium’- a child is made aware of the word quite early in childhood. Parents usually say “Finish up your milk or you won’t get enough calcium for your bones to grow!” This post is about that essential mineral.
Calcium contributes to 2% of your total body weight. It is the most abundant mineral in the body. It performs basic body functions. Healthy men and women should consume 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium per a day. But the truth is that most people fall short of this benchmark. The average woman consumes a bit more than half of her daily calcium requirement.
Include calcium rich foods in your diet and the good sources of calcium are dairy, green leafy veggies and beans. Some people are lactose intolerant and can’t eat dairy products. If you want to know about dairy free sources of calcium read this post!
Why calcium is needed for good health?
Calcium maintains strong bones and teeth
The main role of calcium is to maintain bone and tooth health. Calcium forms a part of hydroxyapatite, which is a mineral complex that makes the bones and teeth hard and helps in maintaining bone density. Without hydroxyapatite, the bones will turn soft and bendy, lack of bone density without the mineral complex will make the bones susceptible to breakage. The body needs to get calcium regularly so that it can synthesize new bone tissue, keep the bones strong and ward off bone diseases.
Calcium Supports Nerve and Muscle Function
Calcium is known to play a vital role in the functioning of the nervous system and the muscles. Calcium present in the brain helps in controlling the release of chemicals that activate nerve cells and interact with them. When the nerves are unable to access the calcium they need, they won’t be able to send or receive chemical signals and this disrupts their function. Calcium is known to help the muscles in contracting as a response to nerve stimulation. Calcium also activates a protein that is needed by the muscle cells as a fuel for them to function.
Calcium enables cell communication
Calcium behaves like a second messenger in the body’s cells and that means it responds to chemical signals outside the cells and it accordingly triggers a response inside the cell. This calcium signalling is essential in controlling the constriction and relaxation of blood vessels. It also controls the insulin secretion in the body.
Long term health is promoted when you meet your daily calcium requirement. Not only does the risk of osteoporosis get reduced, chances other ailments like colon cancer are reduced by 14%. Calcium regulates the blood pressure too.
Apart from the important role it plays in our well being, there are other things about calcium that you should be aware of.
Calcium carries a tiny electric charge. The presence of calcium can temporarily lower the absorption rate of other minerals that are naturally charged namely: magnesium, zinc and iron. Though it may not lead to nutritional deficiencies, doctors recommend consuming mineral supplements 2 hours before or after having a calcium-rich meal.
When does the body not absorb calcium?
What happens when you consume too much of calcium?
Where at one hand the lack of calcium can disrupt several bodily functions, eating too much of can also have negative effects. When you consume too much calcium in the form of supplements, it can lead to constipation and kidney stones. The upper limit of calcium consumption for men and women is 2000 to 2500 milligrams per day for healthy men and women.
Don’t forget to include the right amount of calcium in your diet!
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