What is Calcium and why is it important?
Calcium is one of the most important minerals the body needs to function. Some important functions include healthy bones and teeth, makes the blood clot to stop bleeding and regulating muscle contractions (most importantly the heart). Your body can’t make its own calcium so it’s important to get it from your diet.
A lack of calcium can lead to a number of symptoms and conditions;
- Causes bones to become brittle which can lead to low bone density or osteoporosis.
- Dry skin
- Muscle aches and spasms
- Convulsions – low levels of calcium can alter the electrical activity of brain cells and cause seizures.
- Mental health – Many people experience quick mood changes, it can also cause confusion and memory loss.
- Extreme fatigue
How to get Calcium
It has been taught to us from a very young age that you need milk to grow up big and healthy and although breast milk when you are a baby is extremely beneficial, this doesn’t mean we need to drink milk for calcium.
“Breast milk is incredibly important, but cow’s milk isn’t… This myth goes way back to before the food pyramid when the National Dairy Council offered to provide nutrition material to schools for free. And in all those materials, they said that you need multiple servings of dairy every day for a healthy diet,” Gardner said. “That was never agreed on. A lot of people are lactose-intolerant, and you don’t need it.”
-Christopher Gardner, Standford Medicine
Some great sources of non dairy-based calcium includes;
- The most healthful calcium sources are green leafy vegetables – Spinach, broccoli, kale, collard greens, pak-choi, okra, swiss chard, parsley, podded peas, etc..
- Legumes – soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc…
- Sweet potato
- butternut squash
Its important to understand that there are certain minerals that help with the absorption of calcium in the body. Your body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium, vitamin D can be found in fish including salmon and tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks mushrooms and fortified foods such as cereal. You can also get your daily requirement of Vitamin D with a supplement.
Here at Conefreys Careplus pharmacy, we carry a wide range of supplements, come on in and speak with one of our friendly staff members and they will advise you on the best supplement for your needs.