Calcium plays an important role in body basic functions. Humans need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, and 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It plays a role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
Your body doesn’t produce calcium ,you have to rely on your diet to get the calcium you need. Calcium occurs naturally in many foods, and food manufacturers add it to certain products. Supplements are also available. Your body need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Sunshine is your best source of vitamin D. Your skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Those with darker skin don’t produce vitamin D as well, so supplements may be necessary to avoid deficiency.
WHY WE NEED CALCIUM
Around 99% of the calcium in the human body is in the bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for the development, growth, and maintenance of bone. As children grow, calcium contributes to the development of their bones. After a person stops growing, calcium continues to help maintain the bones and slow down bone density loss, which is a natural part of the aging process.
Calcium helps regulate muscle contraction. When a nerve stimulates a muscle, the body releases calcium. The calcium helps the proteins in muscle carry out the work of contraction.
Calcium plays a key role in blood clotting. The process of clotting is complex and has a number of steps. These involve a range of chemicals, including calcium.
SOURCES OF CALCIUM
People can get calcium from variety of foods and drinks:
- milk, cheese and other dairy foods.
- green leafy vegetables – such as curly kale, okra but not spinach (spinach does contain high levels of calcium but the body cannot digest it all)
- soya drinks with added calcium.
- bread and anything made with fortified flour.
- legumes and grains.
Due to individual differences in requirements, experts do not recommend calcium supplementation for everyone. Anyone who is considering taking supplements should ask their healthcare provider for advice.