#LivingTo100: Get your calcium without the cow

#LivingTo100: Get your calcium without the cow

Calcium is vital of the formation of strong bones and teeth and for the maintenance of healthy gums. It is also important in the maintenance of a regular heartbeat and in the transmission of nerve impulses. Calcium lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. It is needed for muscular growth and contraction and for the prevention of muscle cramps.

Did you know our intestines become less efficient at absorbing vitamin D and calcium as we age? This is especially important because calcium is necessary to maintain mental alertness, memory, and good circulation. Adequate amounts of calcium is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Excess amounts of calcium can accumulate and deposit in places where it doesn’t belong. In unborn infants, a calcium deposit in the heart is one of the early signs of Down syndrome. In adults, calcium deposits end up in blood vessels and the kidneys. When they end up in kidneys, they become kidney stones.

<h2 itemprop=”alternativeHeadline”>Calcium and blood pH?</H2)

Calcium is a crucial element in regulating blood pH (the acid/alkaline balance). Acting as a buffer, when blood pH becomes too low (acidic), calcium is released from the bones to bring the balance back to normal. Calcium, a miracle nutrient makes up 1-2% of an adult human’s body weight.

Don’t skimp on calcium. You can meet the recommended adequate intake of calcium for adults by consuming the following foods:

  • dairy foods
  • fortified cereals
  • calcium fortified soy beverages
  • sardines
  • salmon
  • collard greens (1 cup of steamed collard greens = one cup of cow’s milk, grow your own if possible)
  • mustard greens
  • black-strap molasses
  • spinach
  • tofu
  • soy beans
  • spinach
  • white beans

Be aware! Beet greens, rhubarb, spinach, Swiss chard, and a grain called amaranth supply calcium. However, these foods contain oxalates that bind calcium, blocking its absorption. Some grain products also contain small amounts of calcium but they may contain phytates that block calcium absorption too. The amino aid lysine is needed for calcium absorption. Food sources of lysine include cheese, eggs, fish, lima beans, milk, potatoes, red meat, soy products and brewer’s yeast.

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