Everything you need to know about the benefits of calcium
Calcium is often known as the mineral that maintains strong bones and teeth. The first thing most people think of when asked to name a good source of calcium would likely be milk, thanks to the popular "Got Milk?" campaign.
But did you know that calcium does much more than build strong bones and comes from numerous sources other than milk? Here you will find an overview of the many benefits of calcium.
More than just strong bones
It is true that calcium helps maintain strong bones and teeth, as 99% of the body’s calcium is stored there. Calcium also plays a vital role in muscular, cardiovascular and nerve function, as described below:
- Muscular Contraction - When a nerve stimulates a muscle to contract, calcium is released to initiate the mechanism of muscular contraction.
- Cardiovascular Function - Calcium aids in muscle contraction of the heart and blood vessels. It also plays a key role in the process of blood clotting.
- Nerve Signaling - The transmission of nerve impulses would not be possible without the presence of calcium in the nerve.
Overall, calcium benefits the body by maintaining chemical balance and plays a part in almost every basic function. If there is not enough free calcium in the body, it is removed from storage in the bones (and that is not what we want!).
The negative effects of a calcium deficiency
An inadequate intake of calcium can lead to many detrimental effects in the body. In the short term, the impact of a calcium deficiency is not obvious. In rare cases, the condition can progress and lead to osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis) or rickets. It can also cause symptoms such as muscle cramps, brittle nails, and tooth decay. The following groups are most at risk of calcium inadequacy:
- Postmenopausal women
- Those who are lactose intolerance
- Individuals with digestive diseases (celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease)
- Those with Female Athlete Triad
The body does not have the ability to produce calcium on its own, so it is important to ensure an adequate level of calcium intake through diet or supplements.
Natural sources of calcium
Adults (ages 19-64) need an average of 700mg of calcium per day. Dietary sources of calcium include:
- Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
- Orange Juice
- Green leafy vegetables (kale, turnip greens, broccoli)
- Soymilk (calcium fortified)
If you want an added bonus to increasing bone strength, be sure to eat foods rich with vitamin K as well! Calcium and vitamin K work together to build bone in the body. Here are some foods that provide Vitamin K:
- Turnip greens
Sometimes it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need through diet alone. To ensure you are receiving enough calcium, it might be beneficial to take a daily vitamin. The best vitamins for women will include both calcium and vitamin K to keep your bones healthy and strong.
Vitamins for strong bones and muscles
Are you thinking you may need a little more calcium in your life? Mybite offers the perfect calcium supplement! It tastes great, includes vitamin K, and will provide you with all the benefits of calcium your body needs.
If you’re looking for a vitamin that includes additional vitamins and minerals, Mybite has also created one of the best vitamins for women the market has to offer. Check it out today!