Reasons to include calcium in your diet

Very few are aware of the fact that calcium has much more to do than just building bones and aiding skeletal growth.

Calcium is already known for its vital role in the development of the musculoskeletal system, but there are many other processes of your body, which depend on calcium for their optimum function. Listed below are a few of them.

Nerve and muscle health: Studies suggest that adequate calcium in the body helps the nerves function properly and aids good muscle contraction.

Blood clotting: Blood clotting is an essential function that greatly depends on calcium as a requirement.

Heart health: Calcium plays a major role in preventing cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

Cancer prevention: A few studies suggest that proper calcium intake may reduce the risk of colon and bladder cancer to a considerable extent.

Calcium requirements: Calcium requirement differs according to the age group and gender. Women, especially during pregnancy, lactation and menopausal stage require much more calcium than in any other stage. Also, growing children between the age of 9 and 14 require more calcium in their system, to enhance the build-up of bones and skeletal tissue. Adequate calcium in your bloodstream can help you prevent cataract, kidney stones, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Calcium is also known to reduce the severity of PMS.

Dietary sources of calcium
Dairy sources of calcium are cheese, milk and yogurt. Nuts such as almonds and pistachios, green leafy vegetables and some fishes also provide calcium to the body. Including more of these foods to your diet will meet your body’s calcium intake. You could also consider taking calcium supplements, especially if you are in the menopausal stage.

Calcium deficiency and how it can affect you
Muscle pain, softening of bones, numbness of the hands and feet and muscle spasms are a few symptoms of calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency can be exceptionally harmful to women in the menopausal stage. Women are more susceptible to loss in bone mineral density post 50’s which can lead to osteoporosis. Also, growing children need more calcium to compensate for their skeletal and bone build-up.

Including more protein and sodium in your diet can lead to calcium deficiency as they increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Avoid excessive use of these in your diet, especially if you are deficient in calcium.

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