5 Mar
Posted in: Health
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The Importance of Calcium

Calcium rich foods are not just refined to dairy based products. If you are a vegan or have a dairy intolerance, there is no reason you can’t have healthy strong bones and a body full of the calcium it requires by eating the following delicious foods within your diet.

  • Tofu and soy products
  • Sardines, canned fish with their bones
  • Broccoli
  • Salmon
  • Anchovies
  • Almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables such a kale and watercress
  • Green and red cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bok choy
  • Okra
  • Cereals and legumes

And for those who do eat dairy… 3 serves a day will do just fine!

Calcium is necessary for the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones, nerve signalling, muscle contraction, and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes.

During childhood and adolescence, the body is very efficient at storing calcium and building strong bones. It is essential to eat enough calcium-rich foods and do regular physical activity (high impact or weight bearing) especially during the first twenty years of life to help achieve a healthy maximum bone density and avoid the risk of Osteoporosis or calcium deficient symptoms later in life.

If you have a deficiency in calcium you may be experiencing any or all of the following:-

  • Muscle cramps
  • Bone loss, fractures and breakages
  • Brittle nails and dry skin
  • Yellow teeth
  • Increased PMS symptoms
  • Lethargy
  • Osteoporosis

Eating enough calcium-rich foods is essential throughout life to maintain strong bones and to help slow down the bone loss that occurs naturally with age.

In Australia, osteoporosis affects one in two females and one in three males over the age of 60. Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones have lost calcium and other minerals, become fragile and tend to fracture more easily.

Too much sodium in the diet can cause calcium to be lost from the body in urine. It is important to choose reduced salt foods and avoid adding salt to meals. On the contrary, Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Our bodies produce vitamin D when the skin is safely exposed to sunlight in small doses.

So go on, take a break, sit in the sun for 5 minutes and indulge in a handful of almonds to increase your calcium absorption … your body will love you for it!


So, what do you think?