Calcium

As we get older, we need to be aware of the increased risk of certain health conditions that we start to face. As we get into our thirties, we begin to lose up 1% of our bone density each year. This percentage can increase by more than double for woman during menopause. Low bone density can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterised by brittle and fragile bones. The good news is that because low bone density is usually a result of poor diet; deficiently in calcium. The risk and severity of low bone density and osteoporosis can therefore be reduced with a healthy, balanced diet with enough calcium.

Calcium is essential for our bone health. Calcium is also necessary for muscle function, nerve function, controlling blood pressure, blood clotting and hormone regulation. If we consume enough calcium, our bodies do a great job at maintaining a decent amount in our bloodstreams and bones, as opposed to excreting it out. But if our calcium consumption is low, leading to low blood levels, the calcium that I stored in our bones get taken and used by the body. This can lead to low bone density, which is a precursor for osteoporosis. Please note, we also lose calcium through sweat and hair and nail loss.

How much calcium do we need?
The minimum daily calcium requirement is1,000 milligrams (mg) a day for women aged less than 50. This increased to 1,200 mg for women over 50.

Sources of Calcium:
Amongst dairy foods, there is a a whole group of other foods that are high in calcium:

Legumes
Soy beans
Kale
Oranges
Tofu
Kale
Bok Choy
Tofu
Broccoli

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