Calcium For Women – Facts, Significance And Dietary Sources
Are you getting adequate amounts of calcium daily? Calcium is a macro nutrient that is vital for our health. The mineral strengthens bones and teeth, facilitates muscle contraction and blood clotting, and helps secretion of hormones and nerve impulse conduction. Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, and it is exceedingly crucial that you get the recommended daily dosage so that your body works in harmony.
Why do women need calcium?
99% of the calcium is stored in our body in the bones and teeth. The mineral is very vital for the development and maintenance of bones.
During the growth phase, calcium plays a crucial role in the development of bones. Once the growth phase gets completed, calcium helps maintain healthy bone structure and makes sure there is no loss of bone density which occurs as age progresses. Unfortunately, women are more prone to osteoporosis than men are and consequently need to take additional care, especially those in the age group of 30 to 40 years.
Menopausal women lose bone density at a very fast rate compared to younger women. They have a very high risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures, and doctors advocate a high calcium diet along with calcium supplements.
Calcium is necessary for muscle contraction. When a nerve stimulates a muscle, calcium is released and it assists the proteins in the muscle to carry out the contraction. When calcium is pulled out of the muscle, the muscle relaxes.
Calcium and blood clotting go hand in hand. Blood clotting is a complex process, involving a host of elements, including calcium. The mineral also maintains normal action of the heart muscle. It relaxes the smooth muscle surrounding the blood vessels and clinical trials are demonstrative of the fact that there is a strong link between a good intake of calcium and low blood pressure.
Another very significant use of the mineral is during pregnancy. When you consume adequate amounts of calcium, you have a lower risk of developing pregnancy-related hypertension. What’s more, women who consume sufficient calcium during pregnancy show good cholesterol levels as well.
How much calcium do we need?
Women up to the age of 50 years need 1000 milligrams per day and after the age of 50 years, they need 1200mg per day. You need to ensure that you consume plenty of calcium-packed foods daily to guarantee that you are receiving the adequate amount.
Calcium-rich foods include -
- Dahi or Yogurt
- Sardines And Salmon
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and methi,
- Nuts and seeds, especially almonds and sesame
Calcium rich dishes
1.Bowl of Fruit & Yogurt: Yogurt is an outstanding source of calcium. Team 1 big bowl of yogurt with a fruit of your choice and top it off with sesame seeds, almonds and chia seeds and you’ve got yourself about half of your daily calcium requirement. Plus, the pro-biotics in the dahi do wonders for your immune mechanism.
2.Tofu fry:Tofu is made with soybean and calcium sulfate, and greatly helps boost the calcium content. Throw in veggies of your choice, along with some paneer and you have a delicious and calcium-loaded meal.
3.Palak paneer: A heaven sent for the weight-watchers! Cottage cheese in the recipe keeps the fat in check and proffers oodles of calcium. 1 cup of cooked and pureed spinach gives about 200 milligrams of calcium. Succulent paneer in creamy verde paalak sauce is your yummy calcium-fix for the day!
It is definitely prudent to keep a watch on your diet to get the recommended daily dose of calcium. Do confer with your health care professional to understand your body’s specific needs and incorporate the correct foods and supplements in your diet.
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