The human body is 2 percent calcium. This is a very large amount when compared with other minerals. The lion’s share of calcium is in the teeth and bones, but the element is necessary for the healthy functioning of the body as a whole. It is very important to regularly replenish stocks of the substance.
Calcium is found in many foods, but you should not only know what to eat, but also how to achieve better digestibility. The mineral is not produced by the body, therefore, with the depletion of reserves, it floats internal reserves. In simple words, calcium begins to lose bones, teeth, hair, nails. This is fraught with serious health consequences.
Calcium: what the body needs
First of all, the mineral forms the bone skeleton and teeth. It also affects the work of the heart muscle. Calcium provides a healthy heartbeat. Another element contributes to the normalization of pressure – reduces it.
Thanks to calcium, the level of cholesterol in the blood is regulated. It nourishes the nervous system, responsible for stimulating the conduction of impulses. If the mineral is not enough, in order to support the nerves, the body begins to take it from the bones. They lose strength as demineralization occurs.
Calcium also affects the secretion of hormones. When it is enough in the human body, the muscles function normally. It contracts smoothly, allowing a person to perform body movements in various directions.
A vital macrocell is directly involved in metabolic processes inside cells in tissues. It optimizes the coordination of movements, maintains a physiologically normal level of blood coagulation, if used within normal limits. Interestingly, the mineral has the ability to relieve inflammation.
Organic calcium helps normalize vascular permeability. In fact, he cleans them of cholesterol plaques. Calcium metabolism can be disturbed with a lack of fluid in the body, due to chronic dehydration, the process of demineralization begins.
The element also affects the immune system. Therefore, calcium gluconate is often included in the list of drugs that are recommended for frequent infections, flu. However, before using it in shock quantities, it is worth learning not only about its benefits, but also about the dangers.
Excessive consumption of an element in the form of drugs leads to calcareous deposits on the walls of blood vessels. With uncontrolled administration, unpleasant side effects are possible:
- extreme thirst;
- nausea and vomiting;
- loss of appetite;
- general weakness;
- frequent urination.
To avoid hypercalcemia, it is recommended that emphasis be placed on replenishing supplies with natural foods. The mineral is especially easily absorbed from dishes that have not undergone heat treatment.
According to the recommendations of doctors, only about 1 gram of a mineral should be ingested daily. The daily intake of calcium seems to be easily replenished, however, there are a number of conditions that are important for observing that the element is absorbed from food.
For example, food should be rich not only in calcium, but also in phosphorus. This is not the only condition. To get the macronutrient rate, you should also ensure that vitamin D enters the body.
What threatens a lack of calcium
Most often, doctors scare patients by the fact that a lack of this macroelement in food is fraught with osteoporosis. The disease of fragile bones, as the disease is also called, occurs more often in women than in men, and the development of the disease is characteristic against the background of menopause. This is due to hormonal changes, due to which the metabolism in the bones is disturbed.
The risk group includes pregnant and lactating women who experience an increased need for calcium, since it is also spent on a child. Mineral deficiency can be determined by the following symptoms:
- fragility of bones;
- rapid tooth decay;
- gray complexion;
- fragility of hair and nails;
- chronic fatigue;
- muscle weakness;
- lowering the pain threshold;
- heavy bleeding during menstruation;
If, when the first signs of calcium deficiency are detected, the consumption of foods rich in this substance is not increased, a phenomenon such as hypocalcemia will occur. They talk about it when calcium is less than 2.1 mmol per liter of blood. In this case, the risks of developing serious diseases are high: rickets, hypertension, arthritis. Lack of mineral is fraught with insomnia and headaches, kidney and liver function worsen.
An excess of calcium: what hinders the absorption
If a person is healthy, eats properly, then an excess of the mineral in food does not threaten any consequences, since an excess amount of the element is excreted from the body. However, you can not consume a lot of calcium in the form of medicines. There are high risks that it will not be absorbed properly. In this case, different organs may suffer. With hypercalcemia, the substance is deposited on the walls of blood vessels, which, in turn, is reflected in muscle tissue. Excess calcium is fraught with urolithiasis.
Calcium is not absorbed in normal mode when a person consumes too many sweets, alkaline foods. This prevents the normal production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and it is necessary for the dissolution of the mineral.
Calcium uptake is a complex chemical process that, if improperly fed, leads to an increase in the content of an element in the body. With an imbalance of minerals, the level of an element in the blood can either decrease or increase, going beyond the norm. But also different diseases affect the assimilation:
- endocrine pathologies;
- lungs’ cancer;
- breast tumors;
- oncological diseases of the prostate gland.
Scientists have discovered a link between hypercalcemia and Parkinson’s disease. With a high concentration of the element in the nervous tissue, toxins form, which trigger the mechanism of development of tremulous paralysis.
For health, a balance between the three elements is very important: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. The ideal ratio is 2: 1: 1.
But it is important that the stomach does not interfere with the processing of minerals. For example, with the abuse of products that neutralize hydrochloric acid, digestibility inevitably decreases.
High calcium foods
You do not need to have a medical education to know about the high content of such an element in dairy products. However, milk, cottage cheese, cheese, sour cream are not the only sources of the mineral. The list of foods rich in calcium includes many of the gifts of nature. And it will be correct to use a variety of foods in order to replenish in parallel the reserves of phosphorus, vitamin D – the elements that are necessary for the absorption of this substance.
Not just that in the children’s menu in the first place are milk, cottage cheese, kefir, fermented baked milk. They combine two important qualities: they have a high calcium content, and this macrocell from such foods is well absorbed.
For example, in one glass of milk contains a third of the daily norm of the substance. The exact same amount of calcium is in another product that many children adore – in yogurt.
The nutritional value of cottage cheese, milk, kefir is due to the presence in them of substances necessary for the assimilation of the element. An important role is played by the high content of lactose – milk sugar. With regard to fat, lipids also contribute to the absorption of calcium, but if not abused.
It is necessary to add plant products to the menu, which also helps to increase the amount of calcium in the body. It is recommended to use it fresh to preserve the vitamins that it contains, in addition to a valuable macronutrient. However, this is not true for all vegetables.
Calcium-rich foods include spinach, carrots, and beets. But they have a rather high content of oxalic acid, and it prevents the absorption of the mineral. Therefore, these vegetables are recommended to be consumed after heat treatment.
Green leafy vegetables are famous for even more calcium. Maintain mineral balance helps:
- sea kale.
The process of assimilation can be improved by adding dried fruits and spices to the diet. The best solution is to take care of the variety of food. There are no insignificant micro and macro elements – each plays a big role in providing all the needs of the body.
To replenish calcium, you can regularly eat a handful of almonds, hazel, peanuts. Nuts contain a large amount of such a macro element. But it is equally important that they also have magnesium, which contributes to the absorption of matter.
Most calcium in cashews is 290 mg per 100 g of product. It is only slightly inferior to milk in the content of a valuable mineral. It is very useful to eat almonds: it contains 250 mg of calcium per 100 grams.
Fruits and berries
A variety of fruits cannot be called the main sources of Ca, they must be included in the diet, as they contain a lot of valuable substances that help the mineral to be absorbed. In addition to dairy products, you regularly need to eat such fruits and berries: apples and cherries, apricots and gooseberries, strawberries and grapes. Do not forget about currants, blackberries, peaches.
Calcium is found in foods such as dried fruits. Record holders are:
- dried apricots – 80 mg per 100 g;
- figs – 54 mg / 100g;
- raisins – 50 mg per 100 grams.
Like fresh fruits, these products contain not only calcium, but also a whole range of other minerals and vitamins. It is worth remembering that due to the loss of moisture, dried fruits are high in calories.
Grains and Beans
Cereals, beans, soybeans also contain calcium and phosphorus. Only in such foods there are relatively few minerals, which does not eliminate the need to add them to the diet. But the plus of cereals is that they can be eaten with milk, thereby enriching the dishes with calcium.
On sale you can find cereals to which valuable minerals are added artificially. They enrich wheat and corn flour with phosphorus and calcium: they then make bread, crackers, and tortillas from it.
Product Calcium Table
The best way to maintain normal health is to eat different foods that are high in calcium. No need to go in cycles, for example, on one milk. You can choose different names in the leaderboard for calcium to diversify the diet.
Calcium Content in Products
|Product||The amount of calcium per 100 g|
|Whole cow’s milk / kefir||120|
|Sun-dried fish with bones||3000|
What is better absorbed by the body: foods or tablets
Calcium is an integral part of the surrounding nature. Ideally, a mineral substance is best obtained from food. However, this does not work out in reality: on average, the human body takes only 50% of the daily norm from food. There are several reasons for this:
- products that, according to the idea of nature, should be saturated with calcium, are poor for them because the soil is depleted, animals consume food whose composition does not meet the standards;
- the macroelement is very moody in terms of digestibility: you need to correctly combine products so that the body can get its own norm of matter from them;
- drinking regimen is disturbed, and hypocalcemia occurs due to dehydration.
Separate categories of calcium in food will not be enough, no matter how good the diet. For example, for the growth of children, the macroelement is constantly needed in large quantities also in combination with vitamin D. Therefore, after consulting a doctor, you should take a medication, strictly adhering to the dosage.
There are increased needs in pregnant women, in women on the eve of menopause. Athletes, people who have had bone fractures, also drink vitamin D and calcium supplements.
Foods That Help Absorb Calcium
To fully supply the body with the most important macrocell, it is necessary to draw up a diet so that not only foods rich in calcium are on the table, but also foods containing phosphorus, vitamin D. But it must be emphasized that the balance of all substances is important for health. Too high a level of any macronutrient necessary to ensure the vital functions of an organism is also harmful.
Calcium digestibility is promoted by a fish rich in phosphorus and vitamin D. It is necessary to include in the diet for the balance of macronutrients:
- egg yolks;
- hard cheeses;
Do not forget that products that have not undergone heat treatment should regularly appear on the table. Drinking regimen is another rule that should be followed so that calcium reserves are not impoverished.
Foods That Prevent Calcium Absorption
Some people complain that with all the richness of the diet they feel symptoms of calcium deficiency. Despite proper nutrition, the density decreases and the mass of bones decreases, the condition of hair and nails worsens, and other unpleasant signs of hypocalcemia appear. They are inevitable when the menu contains products that interfere with the absorption of the mineral and even wash out its reserves!
They “steal” this element of cereal-based dishes in humans, if consumed in excess. The same goes for acidic foods. Coffee is another mineral thief. It is recommended to abandon any caffeinated drinks in order to restore the balance of substances in the body.
Faster is the lack of calcium without the abuse of fatty foods, sweets, buns. For example, it is better to refuse sweet buns with poppy seeds, although these seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals. White flour baked goods and sugar are not the best companions for calcium.
Useful tips and tricks
Despite the fact that nature is rich in foods that contain large amounts of calcium, it is not so easy for a person to maintain vitamin-mineral balance. Proper nutrition is only one component of success. In addition to the correct choice of products for the diet and their competent combination among themselves, it is worth adhering to the following recommendations:
- Stress triggers a number of biological processes, leading to the loss of many minerals, including calcium – it is necessary to protect the nervous system.
- A sedentary lifestyle leads to a slowdown in metabolism, including calcium metabolism is disturbed – it is worth giving the body daily physical activity.
- Poor water – a factor that upsets the balance of substances in the body. Moreover, it is harmful to drink as a liquid containing excess calcium, and completely purified from minerals. The best option is still water with the addition of lemon juice.
It must be remembered that all recommendations regarding a healthy diet are relevant if a person does not have chronic diseases. Many ailments lead to malfunctions in metabolic processes, impede the absorption of vitamins and minerals necessary for bones, teeth, and other organs.
In case of abnormalities in the activity of the endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, and kidney problems, it is worthwhile to consult a doctor separately to avoid excess or lack of calcium. The balance of substances in the body reflects long-term treatment with hormonal, laxative, diuretic drugs.
Forming a healthy diet rich in calcium, factors that affect the ratio of minerals and vitamins are taken into account. For health benefits, it is worth including in the menu different types of products containing Ca – dairy and meat, vegetables and fish, fruits and grains. Then the reserves of valuable micro and macro elements in the body will be replenished without disturbing the fragile balance.