Throughout the course of your life, you have heard about calcium. Calcium is a mineral that plays an essential part in bone and teeth health. In addition, the heart, nerves, and blood system all need calcium in order to function properly. A lot of information regarding calcium is out there, but not necessarily know all of the in-depth reasons that makes calcium essential to the body functioning properly. The following is a list of ten important things that you should know about calcium.
1. Strengthens bones
Calcium has been shown to strengthen the backbone to ensure the correct body shape, while also helping to alleviate back pain. Calcium helps keep the bones in proper places and also limits the chances of developing bone conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. Those types of conditions can be extremely painful and can have a very negative effect on your life.
2. Protects heart and other cardiac muscles
Calcium can help protect the muscles in the heart as well as other cardiac muscles. Sufficient amounts of calcium can help the cardiac muscles contract and relax properly. Calcium is often a critical ingredient of many blood pressure medications due to the fact that it helps the blood vessels contract and expand. Often times, people with low calcium intake, are also afflicted with high blood pressure. It can also have a positive effect on the nervous system by helping the nervous system maintain proper pressure in your arteries.
3. When combined with vitamin D, can have a multitude of benefits
Research has shown that when calcium is combined with vitamin D, it can have a multitude of additional benefits besides improving bone health. For example, both can be used as a way to fight cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Both can also be used as a way to counteract calcium deficiencies. We recommend that you discuss with your doctors prior to taking these two substances together, as there can be side effects and other risk factors, especially if you have previously been diagnosed with the following:
past or present kidney stones
4. Many foods are calcium rich
In addition to being a critical mineral towards your body, it is also very widely accessible. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt all have very high calcium concentrations. When you always hear the adage “milk will give you strong bones” it turns out this is actually true. Have no fear though, if you are lactose intolerant or do not like dairy products, there are still plenty of calcium rich foods for you. Many herbs and vegetables including kale, broccoli, and edamame contain significant amounts of calcium. Oranges, figs, and almonds are some more examples of non-dairy foods with lots of calcium.
5. Controls kidney stones
Kidney stones are hardened accumulations of calcium and other minerals into the urinary tract. While calcium kidney stones are no longer believed to be the most common type of kidney stone, studies still show that a diet high in calcium can still decrease the risk of kidney stones.
6. Can help keep optimal weight
Calcium has also been shown to help keep individuals at an optimal weight. Calcium plays a crucial role in how fat is burned and stored. The more calcium in a fat cell, the more fat it burns. An important hormone involved in this process is the parathyroid hormone, which works to help release calcium into the bloodstream.
7. Improves colon health
Calcium can work at trying to lower the risk of developing the risk of colon cancer. Adequate consumption of calcium can suppress the growth of polyps that eventually lead to colon cancer. It is believed that the excess calcium in your body then goes and binds with the cancer cells so they are excreted at the same time. The remaining calcium then is stored in the intestines after your body gets everything it needs.
8. Can strengthen teeth and keep gums healthy
In addition to strengthening the bones in the body, calcium also plays a large role in keeping your teeth strong. Calcium can also help in lowering the risk of gum disease. Studies showed that those who ate only half the recommended servings of calcium had twice the risk of gum disease. You’ll want to maintain a calcium-rich diet so you do will not have to deal with mouth issues.
9. Combining Calcium and Magnesium
Much like with vitamin D, many doctors recommend consuming sufficient amounts of both calcium and magnesium. It is true that you need both calcium and magnesium in order to maintain strong bones, regulate nerve function, and control blood pressure. These two substances can be taken together, however you need to be careful to not exceed daily levels (1,000-1,300 mg of Calcium, 310-420 mg of Magnesium), as it can cause calcium deficiencies in those who already had low levels of calcium.
Calcium is a mineral that is essential in order for our bodies to be completely healthy. There are a wide variety of delicious options that can give you the full amount of calcium you need. It should also be noted that there are a wide variety of calcium supplements available