Learning How Calcium Can Give You A Better Life By: Jay Ashley
It may seem unbelievable to you but calcium can truly give you a better life. By ensuring that you’ve got the proper amount of calcium in your body, you’ll find the quality of your life enriched and enhanced, allowing you to do things you once thought yourself incapable of.
First Things First: Basic Facts about Calcium
With a chemical symbol of Ca, calcium is the most abundant mineral found in our bodies. Most people think that calcium is only necessary for bone building, but in truth, its presence also contributes in helping other parts of the body – like the heart – to stay healthy.
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99% of calcium can be found in your bones and teeth. The residual one percent is stored in your blood and soft tissues. If the food you eat doesn’t have enough calcium, that 1% will decrease. The effect is the similar if your bones begin to lack calcium as well.
What Happens If You Have Calcium Deficiency?
If the calcium content in your body is insufficient, you might suffer from any of the following diseases:
Osteoporosis – According to recent medical reports and surveys, women are more vulnerable to this dangerous bone disease. When you have osteoporosis, this means that your bones lack density, mass, and strength, making it more vulnerable to wounds and fractures. Bone injuries will also heal slowly. Later on, it might even affect the spine and lead to vertebral collapse.
Arthritis – This is a general term used for inflammation and any painful abnormal condition of the joints. Its other form, osteoarthritis, will affect people who are old and without enough calcium in their bodies.
Hypertension – This is the less-popular term used for a condition in which people are found to have high blood pressure. When not managed properly, this can increase the risks of having cardiovascular diseases.
Where to Get Calcium
The best source for calcium is dairy foods such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. Another good source for calcium is a number of green leafy vegetables like broccoli and turnip green. Other sources for calcium are canned salmon, almonds, and dried beans.
Several food producers increase the calcium content of their products to cater to the health-conscious crowd. That’s why you’ll find other food products claiming to be calcium-enriched or calcium-fortified. Be careful, however, with calcium-fortified foods. If they contain too much phytate, this element can lessen the beneficial effects of calcium to your body.
If you are presently subscribing to a high-fiber diet, this lowers the calcium level in your food. You might wish to consult your doctor or nutritionist to change your diet if your body starts feeling the negative effects of calcium deficiency.
Finally, you should consider taking calcium supplements. Be sure however to ask for your doctor’s advice before taking any medication.
Need for Calcium by Age
Minors, from age zero to 18, are still experiencing bone growth. This means that you need lots of calcium for your body to maximize bone growth. At your infant and toddler stage, you’ll mostly obtain calcium from the milk you’re being fed. Once you grow up, however, you might drink milk less and less. For that reason, you’ll have to find other sources for calcium. It’s important to increase calcium intake during these formative years because this will determine the strength of your bones in your adulthood.
To prepare for the needs of old age, you should ensure that your diet always has the required minimum calcium content.