Benefits of Calcium

You probably know that milk and other dairy products are essential for one’s health due to the fact that they are highly rich in calcium, vitamin D and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Aside from dairy products, green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chards, broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts are also known to be good calcium rich foods.

You may be surprised to know that these green vegetables contain the calcium mineral, but it is great news for people who are lactose intolerance or vegans. So instead of drinking milk based products every single day, there is an option to eat those leafy greens – even if you don’t usually do simply because they are vital for your health. I recommend this list of calcium rich foods for people who wish to get a natural supply of the mineral into their diet.

So let us further discuss why eating such vegetables are essential. The calcium mineral is needed by the body to conduct many important functions. Benefits of calcium include the building and maintaining strong teeth and bones, the regulation of the heart’s rhythm, the transmission of nerve impulses, and a role in blood clotting.

Almost 99% of the total amount of calcium in the human body is found in the teeth and bones whilst the remaining 1% is stores in the blood and other tissues.

How the body gets the calcium that it needs – and how this can lead to bone loss

Calcium can be taken in by the body in two ways. One way is by consuming food sources or supplements that contain calcium. As mentioned previously, dairy products and dark leafy greens are the highest sources of absorbable calcium, (though they have considerable varying amounts of calcium content).

Calcium supplements mostly contain vitamin D; this vitamin is known to have a beneficial role with regards to bone health – and is more effective than just taking calcium alone.

The other means of getting calcium is by pulling it form the bones. This occurs when calcium blood concentration  levels drop too low, and when there is insufficient intake of calcium from foods. However, borrowing calcium from bones is not normally replaced at a later point. Such calcium replacement cannot be done by simply eating more calcium, as there are many other variables, such as magnesium, Vitamin D, and manganese availability involved in the bone remodeling system.

The body is in need of calcium in order to maintain and build strong and healthy bones and teeth. People who are in their 30s start to lose more bones that what their bodies can make, and this process speeds up as an individual grows older. Researchers have shown that calcium in conjunction with vitamin D can help prevent bone loss associated with the menopause in women while also aiding in the prevention of bone loss in older men. Not getting enough calcium in your diet can result in deficiencies that include rickets and osteoporosis.

Other Benefits of Calcium

Not getting enough calcium can also cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Use of the mineral had been found effective in preventing cases of high blood pressure during preeclampsia and pregnancy, which is a combination of fluid retention, high blood pressure and high levels of proteins in the urine. However, these benefits of calcium is not always the same, and results can vary depending on the present health condition of individuals. There are also some studies that are being conducted on how calcium consumption is related to obesity and weight loss.

References and Further Reading

Bone BuildersHarvard School of Public Health; Rochester Medical Center; Health News; Vegetarian Diets.