Fact #1 – You need it for much more than building strong bones and teeth, including for blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and the regulation of the heart’s rhythm.
Fact #2 – Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies; women carry about 2 1/2 pounds worth. The chalky substance found in rocks is mostly carried in our bones and teeth (about 99%). Your muscles, soft tissues, and body fluids carry the rest.
Fact #3 – Getting enough calcium can help prevent Osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease that currently affects 8-million women in the United States alone. Though there are medications like Boniva to help stop bone loss and even reverse it, women should do everything they can to prevent it in the first place.
Fact #4 – Calcium helps your muscles contract. And not just the ones you use to vacuum the carpet or lift weights; it assists in the vital operation of your heart muscles as well.
Fact #5 – A 2008 study at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that getting enough calcium may be associated with a lower risk of hypertension in adult women.
Fact #6 – Researchers at the University of Tennessee found that people who get their recommended daily allowance through dairy products may burn fat faster than people who don’t. That might be worth guzzling a couple glasses of milk for.
Fact #7 – Pregnant women actually absorb calcium more efficiently. Normally, women need 1,200 milligrams daily but may be able to get away with consuming as little as 1,000 milligrams daily during pregnancy. Make sure to ask your doctor for advice on any supplementation during pregnancy.
Fact #8 – About 75% of women don’t get enough calcium. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average woman age 20 and over gets only about 858 milligrams a day.
Fact #9 – As grown women, we might find it a hard to get our daily allowance of calcium; guzzling down several glasses of milk is not nearly as appealing as it used to be. Fortunately, there are many options available to ingest the important mineral. You can get calcium from yogurt, cheese, sardines, broccoli, soy products, spinach, fortified juices, and even ice cream.
Fact #10 – Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Though the RDA is currently 400 IU a day, research is surfacing that suggests we need more. See the article http://www.womenslifelink.com/vitamin-d-a-missing-link-in-our-health/ for more information.
As women we have a monumental responsibility to take care of our bodies. Getting adequate calcium is just one of the many aspects of living a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, for most of us, it means adding just one or two items to our daily menus to get enough. If you feel your diet is still not cutting it, try an organic supplement that offers calcium derived from plants. Your local health food store can recommend the best.
Remember, your body doesn’t absorb calcium as efficiently when you get older, especially after menopause. If you are in this age group pay close attention to your body’s needs. Ask your health care provider to help you make a plan to ensure continued vitality. As for you younger women, please don’t wait until you are in your forties to start taking care of yourself; do it now! Be well.
Resources: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/calcium-full-story/index.html, http://www.usda.gov, http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5651
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The information portrayed in this article is meant to be informational and is not to replace advice from your health care provider. Women’s Life Link does not claim that any of the information provided will lead to a cure or improvement of any disease or condition.