Calcium Deficiency – How to combat

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You are fussy about fat and so careful about calories. You often breathe in numbers and keep your daily diet on track. But are you conscious regarding calcium, the most vital mineral that keeps people healthy and strong?

calciumCalcium is among the most essential elements which are responsible for keeping our bones and teeth healthy. It is needed by our muscles, heart, and nerves to function properly and for our blood to be able to clot. Its deficiency affects bones adversely and contributes to the development of osteoporosis. The amount of calcium your body needs entirely depends on your gender and your age. It becomes very dangerous if calcium deficiency occurs at a young age. Therefore, it is necessary to detect the symptoms of calcium deficiency as soon as possible. Calcium deficiency is one of the most widespread problems that usually begins at a young age and recurs during pregnancy or the later years in life.  The risk of calcium deficiency increases for people as they age, especially for women. You can easily combat calcium deficiency by modifying your lifestyle and diet.

Include calcium-rich food in your diet 

Calcium isn’t something that your body can manufacture by itself, so it relies on your diet to meet its needs. Consumption of calcium rich dairy products like milk, buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, curds and paneer is one of the best ways to rebuild your calcium reserves. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce, celery, fenugreek, turnips, collard greens, etc. are also good sources of calcium. Some other good choices for calcium rich foods are lemon, ginger, sardines, blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, soybeans and related products.

Certain calcium-fortified foods increase calcium level in your body by having high calcium absorbability. Some popular calcium-fortified foods are rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, orange juice, fortified cereals and bars.

Expose yourself to morning sunlight

sunlightYour body synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. The body absorbs and regulates calcium with the help of vitamin D. If you have calcium deficiency then you must get around 250 IUs (international units) to 450 IUs of vitamin D daily.

So, take a sunbath for 10 to 15 minutes during the wee hours of the morning. But avoid direct sunlight during the peak hours between 10am and 4pm.

Consume foods rich in Vitamin D 

In addition to getting vitamin D through sun exposure, it is beneficial to eat Vitamin D rich food items to combat calcium deficiency. Some vitamin D-rich foods are fatty fish, fortified  cereal, fortified milk, eggs, cheese, liver, butter, shrimp, margarine, and oysters. Consume vitamin D supplements after talking to your doctor.

Use calcium supplements

If you are not getting enough calcium from your diet, you may need to take calcium supplements. How much calcium you obtain from your diet will determine the amount of calcium you will need from these supplements. There are several different calcium compounds which are usually recommended, such as calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, calcium citrate, among others. Calcium supplements get better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less), with food, several times throughout the day.

Have magnesium-rich food

Magnesium is a vital nutrient which helps calcium absorption. Calcium deficiency can occur if your body does not have enough magnesium. Your body does not store magnesium efficiently, thus it is essential for you to include foods in your diet that provide your body with enough magnesium. A few sources of magnesium are summer squash, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, turnips, broccoli, avocados, sea vegetables, cucumbers, whole grains, green beans, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds and cashews.

A Balanced diet

If your diet becomes rich in sodium, it induces calcium loss through urine and sweat. So, if you have calcium deficiency, use very little salt in your diet. Very high level of proteins may also cause calcium deficiency in children. Excessive fat hinders the absorption of calcium in the body. A healthy balanced diet is hence important to fight calcium deficiency.

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