Importance of Calcium in your Diet
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Nutrients are essential for your body. But a nutrient which constitutes two percent of your total body weight definitely stands out and is one of the most important nutrients in body. This nutrient is calcium. It is not just required for bones to stay strong. Its importance for your body is much more than that. Calcium performs some very basic functions in your body. Most of calcium is utilized to keep your teeth and bones strong, thus playing monumental role in maintaining skeletal structure of your body. Other than this, calcium is also important for blood clotting, nerve function and muscle contraction. Some enzymes are activated inside your body cells by virtue of calcium only. Calcium acts as an electrolyte and helps body to conduct electricity.
Calcium is very beneficial for people with high blood pressure as it lowers systolic blood pressure and also reduces the chances of colorectal cancer. Additionally, you can decrease your risk for osteoporosis by consuming adequate amounts of calcium throughout your life.
Your body gets the calcium it requires for its functioning in two ways. The first way is through your diet. There is a catch in second way- if you do not consume enough calcium, your body will absorb it from your bones and that’s scary! So, you would want to fulfill your body’s calcium requirements through your diet only. Your body requires calcium for its proper functioning.
Deficiency of calcium is linked with a disease called osteoporosis is a silent killer and its symptom is loss of bone mass. People suffering from this disease are more prone to fracture and if once they have a fracture, it will take a very long time to replenish. Owing to weak bones, these people slowly lose their ability to walk. It’s not surprising that osteoporosis is the second most common cause of death in women above sixty years of age. This doesn’t means that men are spared by this disease; it is just that men tend to suffer from this disease ten years later than women. Fortunately, osteoporosis is preventable for most people, provided that you are taking consuming enough calcium to fulfill your body’s requirements. Some ways to increase the amount of calcium in your body are:
- Increase your intake of almonds. Almonds are very rich in calcium and contain about 270 mg of calcium per 100 grams, which is much higher than what an average diet contains.
- You can also take tablets for increasing the amount of calcium in your body.
- It is fact known from time immemorial that the best natural source of calcium is spinach. You can either use it in its raw form or you can also buy spinach soup and you will get the same benefit. Another green vegetable containing same amount of calcium as spinach does is broccoli. Broccoli is not only rich in calcium, but is also the best source of protein available. It contains more protein per ten grams than chicken of same amount.
Here is a piece of advice for those who drink alcohol- alcohol hampers the ability of your body to absorb calcium, so you should control your drinking habits or be ready for harmful consequences.
Our bones will become weak as we reach forties and you cannot do anything about it. But, we can delay its occurrence by following above mentioned tips. So, if you do not want to face the consequences of weak bones earlier in your life, you must change your diet and care a little bit more about your calcium intake.