Calcium is an important mineral that is essential in the normal functioning of the human body.
Many of you will know that the primary role of calcium is to keep your bones and teeth strong. But it really is a lot more than that.
Let's take a look at why calcium matters, and where you could get natural sources of this essential mineral.
Food Sources Of Calcium
The foods that contain high quantities of calcium include -
- Milk and milk products (curds, cheese, paneer etc)
- Ragi - a very high source
- Vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage
- Fish, especially oily fish that you can eat with the bones (eg: sardines)
- Fortified cereals
Among these, we recommend ragi as the best source of calcium, containing 350 mg per 100 gram serving.
In order for calcium to be absorbed sufficiently, your body needs vitamin D as well. This vitamin is manufactured in our skin on exposure to sunlight, but these days it is not enough to just stand out under the sun.
If you are looking for vitamin D supplements, try out our best-selling vitamin D chewable - Sirus.
How Calcium Helps Your Body
Calcium is an essential part of bones, and keeps them strong and sturdy. Low calcium intake can lead to thinning of bones - called osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease.
When you have thin bones, even the slightest of trauma can lead to a fracture.
There are some studies that suggest increasing your calcium intake can help lower the risk of developing cancer, especially colon cancer and prostate cancer.
May Lower Blood Pressure
If you make sure you get your daily calcium dose, you may be able to lower your blood pressure, studies have suggested. This is because calcium is responsible for keeping the blood vessels healthy and soft, allowing them to pulse normally when blood flows through them.
In fact, calcium supplements in pregnancy may prevent preeclampsia - a dangerous condition characterised by high blood pressure and fetal compromise. You may want to speak to your doctor about calcium supplements if you are pregnant.
As such calcium supplements are safe. There is some belief that taking calcium supplements might increase the chances of developing kidney stones, but this is a certainty.
Also, taking in too much calcium can lead to constipation.
How Much Calcium Do I Need?
Most children will need between 200 mg to 1 gram calcium daily. Adults require between 1 gram to 1.3 grams daily.
Calcium is an essential mineral needed to keep you healthy. Make sure you eat right to get the right quantity. Alternatively, talk to your doctor about getting a supplement.
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