Health Benefits of Calcium
Among all the benefits of calcium the important ones are that it aids in maintaining bone health, dental care, prevention of colon cancer, reduces obesity, etc. We need calcium right from birth till old age. In infant days, calcium is required for proper bone and teeth growth; during adolescence as the bones develop, calcium is again essential to support the development; while as we get older our bones tend to get porous and weak thereby calling for ample calcium intake. With so many fancy diets around us, we often tend to avoid calcium rich foods whole food groups like the dairy products which results in calcium deficiency.
Reports say calcium deficiency conditions are continuously rising; particularly women who are on low calorie diets to get slim often confront the trouble of osteoporosis. Thus, it is extremely important to consume enough calcium, along with vitamins and D magnesium and K2 all along your tender and adolescence years.
Calcium forms 2% of the total body weight of a human adult. Calcium is found in human body as deposits in the bones and teeth in great volumes. Traces of calcium are also present in the circulatory system, which prevents life threatening hemorrhages.
Calcium is easily available in milk and milk products like cheese, and yogurt. Moreover, nuts, tinned salmon, seeds and pulses are also good sources of calcium. It is a popular idea that milk is the greatest source of calcium, but it is not so, broccoli can increase the calcium levels in your diet at the best. It is noteworthy that semi-skimmed or whole milk have almost similar calcium content. Fishes like salmon and sardines, leafy green vegetables including broccoli, spinach, orange juice, cereals, oysters, rice beverages, soy, almonds, black-eyed peas, Green peas, and Ricotta are also rich sources of calcium.
Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency: Realizing calcium deficiency in the body is quite easy. Its when your muscles ache and twitches, or you get sudden cramps and spasm; palpitations, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, loose teeth and gum diseases, insomnia, premenstrual cramps, tetany, hypertension and arthritis also indicate calcium deficiency. Often many children suffer from rickets the bones become weak and flexible, they have bowed legs, sunken chests and beaded ribs; they have not been nourished with calcium from birth itself. Thus, regular calcium supply is very important in growing children and teenagers as it can substantially reduce the risks of osteoporosis in old age. This bone ailment is common in one out of every three women and in one man in every 12, above 50years of age.
Health benefits of Calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral for healthy bones, gums and teeth. Doctors often recommend women to take calcium supplements, who show early signs of bone problems, such as osteoporosis or osteopenia.
Strengthens Bones - Calcium strengthens backbone and ensures the right shape to the body apart from alleviating the risks of back pain. Calcium helps to keep the bones in its good shape and prevents many skeletal complaints like arthritis and osteoporosis which could hamper the free movement apart from being extremely painful.
Prevents Obesity - Calcium efficiently helps in maintaining an optimum body weight in both males and females. If there is any deficit in calcium in your diet, the body shall tend to release parathyroid hormone, which in turn stimulates the bones to release calcium into your blood stream, thereby keeping the balance. On the other side, parathyroid hormone also stimulates the production of fat and prevents its break down, which can again make you obese. So ensure that you are taking the right amount of calcium, so that obese does not creep in with other related health hazards.
Protects Cardiac Muscles - Calcium protects your heart muscles. Sufficient amounts of calcium help cardiac muscles to do the contraction and relaxation properly. Calcium also helps the nervous system to maintain the proper pressure in your arteries. If there is a calcium drop, a hormone called calcitrol is released which contracts the smooth muscles of the arteries, thereby increasing the blood pressure. Cardiac muscles need extracellular calcium ions for contraction. When the intracellular concentration of calcium increases, the calcium ions gather together to the protein troponin that stimulates extracellular fluid and the intracellular stores, even the skeletal muscle, which is only activated by calcium stored in the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
Prevents Colon Cancer - Adequate calcium assures you to alleviate the overall risk of colon cancer and suppresses the growth of polyps that can lead to cancer. Calcium supplementation reduces the risk of adenomas, also non as nonmalignant tumors in the colon. This is actually a precursor to colon cancer, however it’s still not known if calcium intake minimizes the cancer risk completely. The excess calcium that's left in your intestines after your body absorbs what it needs. On its way through the colon, this unabsorbed calcium is believed to bind with cancer promoters so they're excreted together from the body. Studies have shown that both food sources of calcium and calcium supplements provide this protective effect. Calcium supplements should be taken in liquid form because liquid vitamins absorb 5 times better than the pills.
Prevents Premenstrual Blues - Adequate amount of calcium lessens the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome like dizziness, mood swings, hypertension and so on. Low level of calcium might trigger the release of hormones, which are responsible premenstrual mood swings including irritability, and depression amongst others.
Prevents Kidney Stones - Kidney Stones are actually the crystallized deposits of calcium and other minerals in the human urinary tract. The most common form of kidney stones is the oxalate stones. Previously, it was thought that high calcium intakes or high calcium absorption develops kidney stones, but the latest studies show that high dietary calcium intakes decrease the hazards of kidney stones considerably. In short, dietary calcium does not cause kidney stones, but the excess calcium present in water that result in kidney stones. Other factors like high oxalate consumption from leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and reduced fluid consumption can prove to be a big cause for kidney stones.
Ensures a Healthy Alkaline pH Level: Junk foods, excess sugars and preserved food items contributes in forming acidity in the body, which in turn could give rise to various disease conditions like cancer, kidney stones and hypertension. Calcium helps to maintain a healthy pH level, thereby improving your vitality and overall health.
Controls Blood Pressure – Some researches declared that a vegetarian diet with high amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium, and fiber will show you reduced blood pressure. While other researchers concluded with different opinions and said that increased calcium intake results in hypertension. Later it was seen that the reason for such assorted results was because these studies tested the effect of single nutrients rather than the food sources having that nutrient content. National Institutes of Health conducted a research called "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)". The "typical American" diet was compared with two altered diets that were rich in fruits-and-vegetables and a combo "DASH" diet stuffed with fruits, vegetables, and calcium. The results showed increased calcium intakes results in decreased blood pressure.
To help test the combined effect of nutrients including calcium from food on blood pressure, a study was conducted to investigate the impact of various eating patterns on blood pressure. This study titled was reported by the. It examined the effects of three different diets on high blood pressure: a control,
Overall it appears that consuming an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables as well as calcium plays a significant role in controlling blood pressure.
Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums - Calcium protects your teeth by keeping the jaw bone strong and sturdy all through your life, which in turn ensures tight fitting teeth where bacteria cannot thrive. Thus, before your teeth and gums start giving trouble ensure a calcium rich diet regularly. Calcium intake should be high especially from tender age, so that your kid naturally grows up with strong teeth.
Helps in Transportation of Nutrients - Calcium helps in the easy movement of nutrients across cell membranes.
Calcium being the most important mineral, we tend to neglect it the most. Most of the children fuss about having milk and eventually with age stop drinking milk altogether. It should be widely known that such ignorance of calcium mineral can result in many serious diseases in long run. Calcium is a vital element in any healthy human diet. If milk and dairy products are not desirable, try to combine these ingredients with other cereals and make recipes that involve milk and dairy products. However, today almost all chemists have calcium supplements in their shops, though it’s always advisable to take a physician’s direction before starting any medicine course.