Calcium, the most crucial mineral in the body, is important for muscle contractions, a healthy nervous system, blood clotting, hormone secretion, and, of course, strong bones.
Researches have proven that getting the required amount calcium can prevent osteoporosis (when mixed with regular exercise and proper levels of vitamin D);
lower blood pressure;
and minimize the risk of colorectal cancer.
How Much You Need
1 to 3 500mg
Note: Don’t exceed 2,500 mg daily as excessive levels can hinder absorption of other minerals and, in rare cases, impair kidney function.
Good Food Sources
Dairy (yogurt, milk, cheese), sardines, canned salmon with bones (the canning process that soften the bones and makes them edible; just mash them with a fork), broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, fortified beverages such as orange juice and soy milk, and tofu processed with calcium salt (look for calcium sulfate on the list of ingredients).
For Best Absorption
- Take your calcium in separated doses, with each dose containing no more than 500 mg.
- You need vitamin D to absorb and utilize calcium. Get 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, either through sun exposure (20 minutes of midday sun) or by supplements (vital in the low-light winter).
- Don’t take your calcium supplements uin the same time as foods containing high levels of calcium-blocking phytic acid (like wheat bran or oat bran) or oxalic acid (like spinach, rhubarb collard greens).
- Consume calcium at divided times than iron supplements, since they battle for absorption.
Calcium supplements come in two main forms:
- Calcium carbonate — cheap and ubiquitous in supplements, this form needs to be taken with food for best absorption. Also, opt for “refined calcium carbonate,” since unrefined calcium can contain lead.
- Chelated calcium – similar to citrate, gluconate, or malate, though these cost pretty much, but you absorb them better (specifically citrate) and can take them on an empty stomach.
Calcium is too bulky—a useful quantity of calcium would make the multi as big as a horse pill. Calcium supplements should be just that—supplements to an otherwise good diet. For calcium to be helpful, your diet must be rich in protein, and your vitamin-D status must be optimal.
Natural Medicine House