5 Ways You Can Increase The Absorption Of Calcium
Calcium is a pivotal mineral that plays a key role in the formation and metabolism of bone.
Why Do I Need Calcium?
Bones, Credits: pixabay
To build strong bones and teeth, your body requires calcium. Apart from bone metabolism, your body requires calcium for other main functions too! It helps the blood to clot normally, helps the muscles and nerves to function appropriately, and the heart to beat normally. Most of the calcium is stored in the bones.
Our body cannot make calcium and it is important to consume calcium-rich foods for the proper functioning of the body.
What are the Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency?
A woman experiencing cramps, Credits: unsplash
If your body does not get the calcium you need, it takes it from the bones, decreasing your bone mass and puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis. Deficiency of calcium also increases the risk of blood pressure, causes osteopenia, and calcium deficiency disease like hypocalcemia.
Early-stage calcium deficiency does not cause health problems. As the condition progresses, the following symptoms can be seen.
Muscle spasms and muscle cramps
Numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, and face
Easy fracturing of the bones
When you experience neurological symptoms like hallucinations, memory loss, it is important to consult your doctor immediately.
How much Calcium is Required?
The recommended daily allowance of calcium for each age group is mentioned below:AgeMale and FemalePregnant WomenLactating mothers0-6 months200mg7-12 months260mg1-3 years700mg4-8 years1000mg9-13 years1300mg14-18 years1300mg1300mg1300mg19-50 years1000mg1000mg1000mg51-70 years1000mg71+ years1200mg
What are the Best Sources of Calcium?
Milk, Credits: unsplash
Eating and drinking two to four servings of calcium-rich foods per day helps you get the required amount of calcium.
The best sources of calcium are dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified beverages such as almond and soy milk.
Calcium is found in dark, green, leafy vegetables, dried peas and beans, fish with bones, and calcium-fortified juices and cereals.
It is also important to consume vitamin D as it helps in the absorption of calcium. The main sources of vitamin D are regular exposure to the sun, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and swordfish.
5 Ways You Can Increase the Absorption of Calcium
Getting calcium either from the food sources or through supplements is one thing, the next important thing to remember is how well your body can absorb the calcium.
You can help increase the absorption of calcium in the following ways:
Take Vitamin D
Avoid certain drinks
Avoid phytates and oxalic acid
Check for Celiac disease
1. Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and it is necessary to take enough amounts of Vitamin D. The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is about 600IU per day (for age group 1 to 70 years). Infants require 400 IU of vitamin D per day.
Exposure to the sun for at least 15 minutes is considered to be the best source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also found in swordfish, salmon, egg yolks, and any milk, cereal, or orange juice that is fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are also available to help the absorption of calcium.
2. Take Magnesium
Brocolli, Credits: pixabay
Increased intake of magnesium helps in the absorption of calcium. Magnesium helps in the absorption of calcium and also aids in building healthier bones. You can consume magnesium-rich foods like broccoli, almonds, and spinach or take magnesium supplements regularly.
3. Avoid Certain Drinks
Coffee, Credits: pixabay
Certain foods reduce calcium in your body and it is important to avoid those. Caffeine is a diuretic and it eliminates calcium in your body, before its absorption. Limit your coffee, tea, or soda to one or two a day. Also, avoid alcohol and sodium-rich foods as they can reduce the calcium absorption.
4. Avoid Phytates and Oxalic acid
The high-fiber rich foods that contain phytates also prevent the body from absorption of calcium. Phytic acid binds calcium and other minerals, making them insoluble and not absorbable in the intestines.
Also, it is found that foods high in oxalic acid like spinach impede the absorption of calcium.
5. Check for Celiac Disease
This is an autoimmune disease characterized by gluten intolerance. The Celiac disease changes the lining of the intestine and impacts the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and calcium.
How to Take Calcium Supplements for Best Absorption
Calcium supplements needs to be taken in a way so that your body can absorb appropriately. Your body cannot handle all the calcium at one point in time. It is necessary to split the dose and consume to aid in easy absorption.
Calcium is important for bone metabolism and its deficiency can cause osteoporosis, osteopenia, and hypocalcemia.