Benefits of Calcium

by Heather James — on  ,  ,  , 


Calcium is an important mineral that needs to be carefully considered, especially for women over 50.

You may not be getting enough. Did you know the recommended daily intake (RDI) for women over 50 is 1300 mg a day?

Why is it so Important.

Calcium plays a major role in our overall health from bone density to heart function.
  • Strengthening bones and teeth.
  • Prevents Osteoporosis.
  • Regulates muscle function.
  • Promotes enzyme function.
  • Promotes blood clotting.

Picture of a broken wrist

Calcium also assists in weight loss, especially if eaten after exercise. If you are a very active person you may need more than the 1300mg, because calcium can be lost through sweat.

Common foods and their calcium content.

The safest and easiest way to manage and prevent a calcium deficiency is to add more calcium to the diet. Some calcium-rich foods include:

  • dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  • beans.
  • figs.
  • broccoli.
  • tofu.
  • soy milk.
  • spinach.
  • fortified cereals.
  • nuts and seeds, including almonds and sesame seeds.

The daily recommended amount of calcium in the diet is 1,000 mg for people aged 19–50, while children, teens, and older adults tend to require more. It is not a good idea to start taking calcium supplements without first consulting a doctor. Too much calcium increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, and other serious health problems. When a deficiency is severe, or when supplements and dietary adjustments are not achieving sufficient results, a doctor may prescribe calcium injections.

Picture of food with high calcium

  • Milk – 1 cup (250ml) – 285 mg.
  • Skim Milk – 1 cup (250ml) – 310 mg.
  • Natural Yoghurt – 1 tub (200g) – 340 mg.
  • Cheddar Cheese – 40 g cube – 310 mg.
  • Cottage cheese – 100 g – 80 mg.
  • Broccoli – 1 cup (100g) – 30 mg.
  • Canned Salmon – ½ cup – 230 mg.
  • Almonds – 15 – 50 mg.

Other Sources of calcium include Chia seeds and Sesame seeds. However, you need to a lot to get a significant amount of calcium. Chia also contains phytic acid which reduces calcium absorption to some extent. However, seeds are a great source of other beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, good fats and protein.

How do you Know if you are deficient in calcium.

Muscle aches, cramps, and spasms are the earliest signs of a calcium deficiency. People tend to feel pain in the thighs and arms, particularly the underarms, when walking and otherwise moving. A calcium deficiency can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet, legs, and around the mouth.

Picture of stretching after exercise

Anyone experiencing symptoms of a calcium deficiency should speak with a doctor. They will order tests and check the levels of calcium in the blood.