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December 18, 2007 at 10:45 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Getting Your Daily Intake Of Calcium Could Be The Best Decision You Ever Make

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Everyone knows that calcium is a vital part of everyone's diet, but not everyone knows why. The fact is, your body needs plenty of calcium for many essential functions.

Calcium

  • Keeps bones and teeth strong
  • Is required for muscle contraction
  • Helps blood vessels function
  • Assists in the secretion of hormones and enzymes
  • Helps the nervous system send messages

Our bones are always changing. They are constantly being broken down and reformed. Calcium is a very important part of this process. The process of bones breaking down and regenerating changes as we age:

  • Children's bones have more formation than breakdown.
  • In most of adulthood, the two processes happen at roughly the same rate.
  • In old age, especially post-menopausal women, bones begin to break down faster than they regenerate.

Unfortunately, many Americans are not reaching their dietary goals for calcium consumption.

  • Roughly half of children under 11 years old do not get enough calcium.
  • Nearly 90% of girls and 64% of boys ages 12-19 do not get enough calcium.
  • Over half of men and 78% of women over age 20 are not meeting their daily calcium requirements.

In a country like America, where food is abundant and inexpensive, everyone should be able to get enough calcium! Good sources of calcium are:

  • Milk products- Choose low or non fat dairy products. These have as much calcium as full-fat dairy products but are much healthier.
  • Chinese cabbage, kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • Fortified foods- Orange juice, Cereals, Soy milk and Snack bars
  • Tofu prepared with calcium sulfate
  • Salmon
  • Seeds and nuts

Multivitamins

If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, you might want to take a multivitamin. Multivitamins are a superior source of nutrition because they are easy to take, provide a guaranteed daily value of many different essential nutrients, and present nutrients in an easily absorbable form.

Protein, sodium, and caffeine

Too much protein and sodium in your diet can cause your body to excrete calcium. Following a low-sodium diet and getting only the recommended amount of protein can help your body hang onto calcium. Caffeine may also increase calcium excretion.

Increase calcium absorption

Certain nutrients help your body absorb calcium more efficiently. These include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium

Women and Children

Women, especially those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, may require more calcium. It is especially important for children to meet calcium requirements. If children have a calcium deficiency, their bone growth and future health can be severely impacted.

[sniplet Vita Female]

Sources: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp

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