We have been confident since childhood that calcium is the main element for bone formation. But we rarely think that this element alone is not absorbed by the body. Without vitamin D, calcium is hardly absorbed. Therefore, for really strong bones, it is necessary to combine calcium intake with vitamin D and follow a number of other rules.
Why do you need calcium
Indeed, calcium helps to strengthen bones and teeth. In addition, the element is responsible for the expansion and contraction of blood vessels, muscle work, nerve impulses and the cardiovascular system. Helps calcium in the production of hormones.
Bones contain only 17% of calcium, the rest is concentrated in smooth tissues, intercellular fluid and blood.
If this element is not enough in the body, then, first of all, problems with bones begin to appear. In adults, they manifest themselves in the form of the development of osteoporosis, and in children, problems with growth appear. If everything is in order with the amount of calcium, then the hair and nails are also in excellent condition.
The most important thing is that it is not so difficult to make up for the calcium deficiency in the body, moreover, due to the use of “necessary” food products.
Causes of calcium deficiency
The first at risk are women in the premenopausal phase and who have already begun menopause. The production of estrogen during this period slows down, and the amount of progesterone increases, which leads not only to premature aging, but also to the leaching of calcium from the body.
In adolescence, up to 25 years, this element accumulates in the human body, then its amount is stabilized. In old age, calcium begins to gradually leach out, regardless of age and gender.
In addition, bodybuilders are at risk. Due to the rapid growth of muscle mass, calcium consumption is greatly increased. In the absence of its regular replenishment, the condition of the bones worsens.
People with autoimmune pathologies and taking hormonal drugs on a regular basis are also at risk.
The main signs of a lack of calcium in the body include:
- periodic muscle cramps, for no apparent reason;
- tooth decay and other dental problems;
- poor condition of nails and hair;
- dry skin;
- high blood pressure.
And, of course, in case of pain in bones and joints, it is necessary to urgently replenish the amount of calcium in the body. Such problems lead to frequent fractures by the age of 50, and the risk of osteoporosis increases.
Elimination of calcium deficiency
The main enemies of the calcium absorption process are coffee and black tea. It is these familiar drinks that flush this substance out of the body, respectively, the more coffee and tea in the diet, the stronger the effect. Alcoholic drinks have a similar effect.
Sweet and highly salty foods interfere with the absorption of calcium by the body. Hence the conclusion, in order to stabilize the amount of calcium in the body, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of sweets, alcohol, coffee, tea and salty foods.
Signs of excess calcium
Most often, the uncontrolled consumption of food supplements with this element, or the need to take medications with its content, leads to an excess of calcium in the body . Very rarely, the cause is multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome (hereditary disease).
If calcium is not excreted naturally, then it begins to accumulate in the kidneys, which can provoke the appearance of stones. Calcium deposits on the walls of blood vessels, and this is the risk of developing stenosis. In general, excess calcium affects all organs.
The main features include:
- lack of appetite;
- clouding of consciousness;
- general weakness;
- cardiac arrhythmia.
Naturally, such symptoms should become a mandatory reason for going to a doctor, but the person himself needs to start with the correction of nutrition.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Any modern physician will confirm that calcium without vitamin D is of no benefit. Calcium supplements can be taken at the same time as foods that contain fish oil. But if vitamin D supplements are also taken, then only 4 hours before a meal or calcium intake.
How much calcium and vitamin D should be consumed per day
The recommended daily intake of calcium for persons under 19 years of age is 1300 mg. Between the ages of 19 and 50, 1000 mg is required, after 50 years – 1200 mg. Such norms will not lead to either a deficiency or a lack of calcium in the body.
The daily intake of vitamin D should not exceed 0.636 mg.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Along with vitamin D, calcium cannot exist without phosphorus. Like the latter, it cannot be absorbed without calcium. A number of scientific studies have shown that the optimal ratio of calcium to phosphorus is 2: 1. If there is more of the second substance in the food, then the first begins to be excreted. If there is too little phosphorus in the body, then an excess of calcium appears, which is deposited in blood vessels, bones, and other organs. As a result, the development of serious diseases begins, including urolithiasis and osteochondrosis.
Calcium in dairy products
Literally 10 years ago, doctors argued that the best source of calcium is dairy products, including cheese. But recent research suggests that in order for the body to absorb calcium from milk, it requires too much energy, which is spent on the body’s calcium reserves. In addition, the calcium contained in milk is not at all characteristic of the human body, therefore it is poorly perceived.
Another important point is that finding real milk is problematic. And the product that is sold in the store, in general, can hardly be called milk. In the manufacturing process, industrial raw material is used. The fat content of other dairy products exceeds all standards and ranges from 40% to 45%. Often such products are salted and contain preservatives and dyes. Artificial fortification of food with calcium is also not a panacea, we can say that it does not have any benefit for the human body at all.
Alternative to cow’s milk
Modern medicine is inclined to believe that it is better to give up dairy products and replenish calcium reserves in the body at the expense of herbal products. We are talking about seeds, nuts, cereals. Cow’s milk can be replaced with vegetable milk, for example, soy or sesame. And most importantly, such milk can even be made at home.
Foods rich in highly absorbable calcium
In fact, getting calcium from natural foods is not that difficult. Their main combination is with foods that contain vitamin D and phosphorus. Foods high in calcium include:
- Soy. 100 ml of milk from this legume contains 60 mg of calcium, while tofu contains 350 mg.
- Almond. 100 g of the product contains 273 mg of calcium, in addition, it is high in magnesium, which also has a positive effect on strengthening bone mass.
- Sesame seeds, which contain 88 mg of calcium.
- Pumpkin seeds – 46 mg
- Bananas. Although they contain a little calcium, only 8 mg, they are rich in potassium, which retains calcium in the body.
- Sardines. This is the real leader in calcium content, 85 g of fish contains a whopping 325 mg of calcium.
- Salmon is not rich in calcium, but it contains a huge amount of vitamin D, as much as 0.595 mg. It is rich in Omega-3, other fatty acids that are responsible for the beauty of the skin and hair.
- Broccoli – 47 mg calcium
- White beans. One of the first on the list of vegetables, a glass of the product contains 200 mg of calcium.
It is also recommended to include in the diet green leafy vegetables, herbs, they are also rich in calcium. This category also includes whole wheat bread, bran.
Full menu of products with calcium for the day
Even in the absence of any diseases, it is recommended to eat 4-5 times a day in order to prevent hunger. A sample menu with high calcium content in foods can be composed as follows:
|Breakfast||Oatmeal, can be in milk, banana and milk tea, preferably green||A dash of whole wheat wheat bread, tofu, rosehip decoction|
|Lunch||Pumpkin seeds, vegetable juice||Cheesecakes with dried fruits|
|Dinner||Broccoli soup, stewed vegetables and sardines||Mushroom soup, boiled potatoes and some rabbit meat|
|Afternoon snack||Bananas and a glass of kefir||Some almonds, juice|
|Dinner||Leafy green vegetables to taste, boiled chicken||Green peas, salmon or other red fish, fruit jelly|
Before going to bed, you can drink berry juice or soy milk.
Try to completely abandon alcoholic beverages, coffee and black tea, it is they that intensively flush calcium out of the body. Avoid packaged juices, make only yourself and do not add sugar to them. A complete ban is imposed on carbonated drinks and energy drinks, they are extremely dangerous for the human body.
Give up sausages and any meat semi-finished products. In fact, it is rather difficult to understand without laboratory research what they consist of, therefore, it is not known how they will affect the state of the human body. The same can be said about food from fast food , it does not bring any benefit, and often it is harmful to health.