We know that calcium is super important for strong bones and teeth. But how important is it exactly and what functions does it play? Do you know all the calcium sources other than dairy products for ones who are lactose intolerant? Are we aware that bones grow the most during our adolescence which is also the time when we need to keep a check on our calcium intake?
Most people aren’t aware of how critical calcium is for the healthy functioning of our body. Here are some reasons we must include calcium-rich foods in our diet.
To Make Muscles Move
Muscle contraction is channeled by the amount of calcium present in your body. Muscles relax and contract because the concentration of calcium in your muscle cells is rapidly changing.
There has to be a balance of the calcium levels in the body. Too much of it isn’t any good, and too little is unhealthy as well. These fluctuations create muscular symptoms that we could never link to calcium like untimely pins and needles and cramps. Therefore, it is important that we regulate our calcium intake.
To Help with Blood Clotting
Whenever your body undergoes an injury or a cut, the body starts a reaction that uses not just the platelets but other enzymes and most importantly the calcium in your body. Structural proteins and calcium are important for the body to create the clots that prevent further blood loss.
Calcium combines with Fibrinogen which is a protein, and Vitamin K. Our platelets react with the former and create Fibrin. The mass of tiny threads hardens and creates a scab or a clot which later helps with the repair process.
For Lowering Your Blood Pressure
Calcium is an important component for lowering blood pressure. Maintaining a normal blood pressure is crucial when you get older. In fact, your blood pressure regulates many aspects of your body’s health. Calcium has been noted to show a difference in the way it influences the blood pressure in both humans and animals. This has been a known fact in the healthcare world for half a century now.
Reports claim that as long as your calcium consumption is high you can indulge in a high sodium diet and it will not negatively influence your blood pressure. High calcium consumption wards against the salt sensitivity of the body.
The popular diet program DASH shows that by mixing low-fat dairy foods with fruit and veggie content, your body’s blood pressure can be calmed down – an effect similar to anti-hypertensive medication.
High blood pressure and a lack of exercise are closely related. Make sure you exercise daily to improve cardiovascular efficiency and lower blood pressure. You can consider cycling to get into shape.
Calcium Helps with Fluid Balance
Most people are unaware that calcium is a key electrolyte – it is a mineral which has an electric charge. Other popular electrolytes in the same category are magnesium, phosphate, chlorine, and potassium.
Electrolytes are present in the blood, body fluids, and your urine. When you maintain the correct balance of electrolytes in your body, your blood chemistry remains stable. Simply put, your body’s fluid balance remains in a perfectly normal condition.
Calcium, as you might know, is present in the extracellular fluids. When the calcium levels in your body decline, it leads to the parathyroid gland to secrete parathyroid hormone. This change leads to the calcium levels and the phosphate shooting up through the release of what is present in the bones and the teeth. This is exactly how one loses bone density. And that is not all, the calcium also works to cut down on the calcium that is excreted by our kidneys.
Calcium Fights Colon Cancer
With time and a lot of medical research, physicians have discovered that calcium can prevent bowel or colon cancer.
The mineral either neutralizes or binds with compounds – the same compounds that are found in the bowel with the potential to cause cancer in the colon.
We need calcium to maintain our bone density. By having enough calcium intake we can also prevent Osteoporosis. The painful condition is characterized by porous bones and is caused by low bone density. The declining bone density causes the bones to snap and has a majorly negative impact on one’s daily life. Osteoporosis patients suffer from painful muscles, joints and shoulder conditions.
Research also shows that by taking care of yourself and having adequate amounts of calcium one can ward off the disease even when it is a genetic cause. If most people in your family suffer from low bone density, you need to manage your calcium intake from a young age.
99 percent of your body’s calcium is present in the teeth and the bones. Therefore calcium is definitely a key bone ingredient. This is also true for some other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. We must also remember that not calcium alone but the body needs regular exercise and daily exposure to the sun for Vitamin D to have healthy bones.
Strongest Bones In Old Age
Women are at a higher risk of losing bone density as they age. Teenage girls or women in their twenties who lower their calorie intake rarely consume the nutrients calcium being one of them. Though in the short term they may achieve their weight goals, in the long run, they put themselves at a higher risk of developing bone diseases.
In old age, this, in turn, increases the risk of fractures. Calcium doesn’t give you bones as strong as when you were young, but with enough physical activity and regulated consumption of calcium, you will have the strongest bones past 60 years of age.
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