Calcium: What It Is and How to Get More

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Calcium is a very important mineral and also the most abundant micro-nutrient found in our body. Its main function is to maintain the neuromuscular function and also help our bones strengthen and develop properly. It constitutes around 26% of the dry weight of our teeth and bones and also 2% of our total body weight. Calcium is also needed for the secretion of various hormones and enzymes as well as for muscle contraction. Although it has multiple functions in our body, the most important are muscle contraction and bone formations and repair. It is in fact the main key for strong and dense bones.

Another important thing that is worth being mentioned is that Calcium is an element that comes in various forms. There is Calcium phosphate, Calcium citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Gluconate and so on. Now you may ask yourself which one is mostly recommended and best absorbed by our body? Well we must consider the elemental weight. For example, Calcium carbonate has an elemental weight of 40% while Calcium phosphate has around 36%. The most common form of Calcium that is found on the market is Calcium carbonate. So if you take let’s say around 500mg your body will only absorb around 200mg.

It is also a well known fact that Calcium alone is not absorbed effectively and it needs to be combined with Vitamin D in order to benefit the most of it. The role of Vitamin D is to help improve Calcium absorption into our body. How, you may ask? Well imagine that this particular vitamin is a key, and in order for Calcium to get inside your body properly it must use this key to open that door. So if you are planning to supplement your Calcium intake make sure that you use Vitamin D as well.

Now that we talked about how Calcium is absorbed properly let’s talk about what not to consume it with. Well in order for our body to absorb Calcium properly we must not consume it along with elements like Iron and Zinc. The main reason for that is that our body tends to prioritize Calcium over these two minerals therefore it is recommended to take Zinc and Iron when your body is low on Calcium. In addition, when you are purchasing your multivitamins make sure that you read the nutritional facts properly and see if these minerals are stashed together or not. However, beside supplements you may easily increase your Calcium intake by eating foods like peanuts, fruits and vegetables.

A vegan  diet is with no doubt one of the most beneficial and richest sources of Calcium. In order to increase your Calcium intake you can eat soybeans, navy beans, white beans, cabbage, broccoli, spinach and so on. There are also several other foods that are rich in Calcium such as peanut butter, nuts, almond butter, orange juice, etc. It is in fact enough to add 4 to 6 of those mentioned above into your diet and you will receive good quantities of Calcium. In addition you can add to your diet tofu, peanuts, walnuts and sesame seeds which are also rich sources of Calcium.

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