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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Got Calcium?

Many people do not get enough calcium each day.  
Are you one of them? 
And why does it matter?

Who Is Not Getting Enough Calcium?

The following groups are not getting enough calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health:
  • Boys aged 9 to 13 years
  • Girls aged 9 to 18 years
  • Women older than 50 years
  • Men older than 70 years

Two categories of women face particular challenges:
  • Post-menopausal women suffer rapid bone loss and do not absorb calcium as well as younger women
  • Women who eat too little or exercise too much do not absorb calcium as well and to make matters worse, lose much of the calcium they do get in their urine.   

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

Children 1 to 3 years Children 4 to 8 years Youth 9 to 18 years Adult 19 to 50 years Adult 51+ years
500 mg 800 mg 1300 mg 1000 mg 1200 mg

Why Is Calcium Important?

Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, for cardiovascular health, to help our muscles move, and for our nerves to carry messages from our brains to every single body part. Insufficient calcium does not produce obvious symptoms right away because the body will take the calcium it needs from the bone to maintain proper levels.

Over time, intakes of calcium below recommended levels do have health consequences, such as increasing the risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Symptoms of serious calcium deficiency can include numbness and tingling in the fingers, convulsions, and abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to death if not corrected.

How Do I Get More Calcium?

There are many food sources with high calcium content, but they are not all diet-friendly. Quiche, eggnog and ice cream are loaded with calcium, but they are also high in fat and calories and won't help with weight loss.  Fortunately, there are many lower calorie alternatives.

Low fat or nonfat dairy such as milk or yogurt are good sources. Salmon and almonds are also calcium rich and have many other health benefits.

Additional sources include:

Soy beans
White beans
Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
Foods that are calcium fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal

I just found a kale smoothie recipe that looks very good. If I try it an like it I'll let you know. I have a real hard time choking down kale, regardless of its amazing health benefits.

There are also calcium supplements in most health food stores, pharmacies and grocery stores and antacids such as Tums are calcium-rich.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Click Here:  Google Is Our Friend. :-)

"I am fit, active, healthy, and enjoying life."

Serrano, E. (May 1, 2009). Calcium: Build Strong Bones. In 348-019. Retrieved February 3, 2013, from

Author Unknown. (August 1, 2012). Calcium Quick Facts. In Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet:Calcium. Retrieved February 3, 2013, from

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