Did you know that 99% of calcium is found in bones and teeth? This is because it is its main component. To have strong and healthy teeth and bones we must ingest the recommended daily doses in order not to have a deficit of this essential mineral for them.
Bones are the place where we store the most calcium. The body is not capable of producing it, so we must provide it through a balanced diet.
What exactly is calcium?
As we have said, it is a mineral. Its main function is to produce bones and teeth. For example, the bones. Although it may not seem like it, they are constantly renewed, the body absorbs the old bone and forms a new one. The process of renewing all the bones of the skeleton takes about 10 years. This is why it is very important to have a good dose of this mineral throughout our lives, not only when we are children.
In addition, they ensure the proper functioning of muscles, cells and nerves. It also helps the body to carry out the functions that are vital to our body. For example, it helps muscle contraction, participates in blood clotting, heartbeat, allows neurons to produce nerve impulses…
As you can see, it participates in many of the processes that take place in our body. Like all nutrients, we must have adequate levels. It should be noted that the digestive system does not usually absorb all the necessary calcium, only 20%. Vitamin D is responsible for helping the intestines in this process.
If we have a low amount of calcium and vitamin D in the blood, we surely have a deficit. So we must eat more foods with this mineral or a nutritional supplement to help us reach the recommended dose. Of course, you always have to do it under the supervision of a doctor, so you don’t take too high a dose.
Over the years we need to eat more foods that provide us this mineral, because some hormones need it to continue working. If we do not increase the dose, we will lose bone mass.
Sometimes we can have too much or a deficit of calcium.
If we don’t eat enough calcium, our bones will weaken: they can grow incorrectly, cause a fracture (this is called osteoporosis). It can also lead to periodontal disease, neuromuscular problems (muscle weakness, cramps …) or even increase blood pressure. These health problems can also occur when the body has a genetic problem.
Consequences of having excess of this mineral:
Too much calcium is called hypercalcemia. Some of the symptoms that we can feel if we suffer from it are: constipation, depression, irritability, bone pain, abdominal pain … Although they are not the only symptoms..
Having too much mineral in your blood can be due to overconsumption of supplements, but it can also be due to health problems such as hypothyroidism or kidney failure.
Foods rich in this mineral:
The first food we usually think of when we talk about calcium is milk. It is true that this drink gives us large amounts, but it is not the only food. Its derivatives such as cheese or yogurt also provide that calcium. In addition, ice cream, green leafy vegetables (such as spinach or kale), or some fish such as salmon and sardines. Or even tofu, legumes, and nuts.
The ideal is to combine the products we consume so that they help us to have a varied and balanced diet. We should not only drink milk, since other foods will also provide us with different essential nutrients.
You should keep in mind that certain foods prevent us from absorbing it or causing us to eliminate it from our body, so we will have to avoid those foods. These are foods rich in phosphorus, caffeine, and fiber. Foods rich in protein make us eliminate it faster.
The recommended daily amount for adults is 800 to 100 mg. However, as we have said before, there are times when we need a greater amount of calcium. In childhood and old age, but also during pregnancy, lactation and menopause.