Calcium and Bone Health
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential to keeping your bones strong and healthy. Without either essential nutrient, your bones may grow fragile and you may put yourself at risk for developing fragility fractures as you age. To stay healthy, it's vital that you eat foods rich in both calcium and vitamin D, or take supplements for the nutrients each day.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is an essential mineral for your health. Your body is unable to produce the mineral, therefore it's vital that you obtain it through the foods you eat, or through supplementation. The mineral is shed from your body each day in sweat, hair, skin, nails and feces, so it's important to always consume the recommended daily value of calcium each day to replenish your body's stores.
What does Calcium Do?
Calcium helps rebuild bones and keeps them strong, but it also has many other uses throughout the body. The mineral is vital to muscles and also allows your nerves to send proper messages throughout the nervous system and aids in the blood clotting process within your body.
Recommendations for Calcium
Many people fall short of getting the recommended value of calcium each day in their diets. These people are putting themselves at risk for bone density loss and brittle bones. Overtime, they may even increase their risk for developing fragility fractures and health issues. The recommended value for calcium each day is dependent on your age and your sex.
The best way and most simple way to obtain calcium is to eat foods that are rich in the essential mineral. Supplements can give you the proper dosage of calcium per day, but the calcium found in food can be more bioavailable than calcium in supplement form. Foods that are rich in calcium include:
- low fat and nonfat dairy products
- green vegetables
- enriched cereals
- enriched breads
Some mineral waters even have been enriched with calcium and other essential minerals to help you obtain your daily amount of calcium easier. Supplements that contain calcium must be taken along with a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D increases the ability of your body to absorb and utilize calcium. Many supplement companies manufacture calcium supplements that already contain vitamin D.
Calcium is essential to keeping your body strong and healthy. Ensure that you get enough calcium in your diet each day by eating a variety of foods that are rich in the essential mineral, and, if necessary, take a daily supplement to boost your calcium intake.