A mineral, the deficiency of which can cause many unpleasant sensations
Everyone has probably heard that calcium is vital for our body, because without it our bones and teeth will become weak. It is true that, dentists and traumatologists unanimously agree that this mineral is one of the most essential “building materials” of our body. Sufficient amounts are important for both young and old people. Research has shown that consequences of the lack of this mineral in childhood and adolescence are visible in the old age: the problem of bone loss appears, they become more brittle, and weak teeth require regular visits to the dentist’s office. Nutrition experts are united, if we supplement our daily diet with the required amount of this mineral, there will be far less problems. So how much of it is needed and which food contains the most of this natural wealth?
Even though in many foreign countries calcium recommendations are based on a person’s age (for children of different age groups, adults up to fifty years of age and older), in Lithuania they are more general. According to the recommendations approved by the Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, which he provides to all medical institutions, physicians and residents, the daily dose of calcium for an adult is 900 mg. It is important to note that the recommendation is general because, for example, it is the same for both women and men. However, doctors often recommend higher amounts of calcium for women because their bones are more prone to thinning. In the past, it was extremely popular to prescribe greater amounts of magnesium to pregnant women so that the child would acquire a stronger bone structure while still in the mother’s womb. It is true that this has not been a general recommendation for several years and the physician attending her advises the use of additional amounts of this mineral by a pregnant woman.
Currently, the conditions to receive enough calcium are extremely beneficial. What is the reason for this? It turns out that this mineral is simply “dependent” on vitamin D. In order for our body to absorb calcium as successfully as possible, we must also get enough vitamin D. The easiest way to do this is to enjoy a spot of sunbathing on a daily basis. It only takes 20 minutes in direct sunlight in order to meet this need and not to require any extra supplements. In summer, when the days pamper us with sun it is simply necessary not to miss out on the opportunity to “fill” your body with vitamin D and accumulate its reserves for the dark season.
Where is calcium hidden in our body? 99 percent of the body’s calcium reserves are in our bones and teeth. Calcium supports their structure and functions. Just less than 1 percent of calcium of the whole body is needed for other body functions: narrowing of the blood vessels and dilatation of the blood vessels, muscle function, hormone balance, and the transmission of nerve impulses. There’s a good reason why its deficiency is associated with impaired heart function as well as depression, and general weakness of the body. The older a person is, the more relevant each of these disorders are to him or her, and in the event of a complex illness, he or she has to be treated and seek a solution, Therefore it is no longer enough to ensure the daily norm of calcium.
Beauty experts note that calcium is beneficial not only for general human health, but also for skin, hair and nails. What are the symptoms of calcium deficiency? You may start to feel bone pain, tingling, nausea, your nails will become brittle, splitting, you may also notice hair problems – their ends will constantly crumble, and the hair itself will be extremely weak and vulnerable. If we want to get enough magnesium every day, we need to eat the food that contains the most of it. Firstly and above all – vegetables. For example, cabbage, broccoli, beans, chickpeas, turnips, various salads (kale, spinach, arugula, beet or turnip leaves). If you mix all or part of these products, you will get a great tasting salad, which will only need to be seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. After eating a large bowl of such salads, you will be certain that the daily rate of calcium is assured.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, chances are that getting enough of calcium with food will be even harder for you. Still, you can absorb it from soy products. Soybeans are rich not only in calcium, but also in the fibre, which is essential for our body. Season the dishes with tofu cheese and soy curd. High levels of calcium are also found in fish, and especially in salmon and sardines. A small portion of fresh or canned salmon contains 340 to 350 milligrams of calcium. It is highly recommended to choose canned salmon with bones, as it retains the highest level of calcium. On hot days, our body loses a lot of minerals, so remember that we can maintain the required amount not only with food, but also with natural mineral water, which contains magnesium, calcium and other minerals. One and a half litres of such water a day and you will not feel dehydrated, moreover you will also remain more energetic and active.
Although nutritionists and physicians talk a lot about the benefits of calcium for our body, we are all “blacksmiths” of our own health and wellbeing. Remember to consider and plan your menu on a daily basis. It should contain as little useless junk food, and as many healthy, balanced, useful products as possible. When considering what to eat today, don’t forget the products that will help ensure the right daily calcium intake.