Calcium is well known for its health benefits, especially when it comes to bone health. The heart, muscles, and nerves also require calcium to function properly. Most people can get their recommended daily amount of calcium from foods like dairy products. For those coming up short, there are several types of supplements available. Read on to learn about the many ways calcium benefits our bodies.
Calcium Benefits: Strong Bones
Calcium is the mineral responsible for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. In fact, calcium starts the process of bone building in the womb and continues through life. People who do not consume enough calcium are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis occurs when bones become weak and brittle. Vitamin D is also necessary, as it helps the body absorb calcium.
Calcium is also a mineral that helps build strong teeth. The calcium in teeth can break down if you don’t consume enough of it. Signs of a calcium deficiency in the mouth include the sudden onset of more cavities than usual and teeth that chip or break easily. Unfortunately, the breakdown takes a while so by the time these symptoms show up the body can have quite a severe deficiency.
Bones and teeth aren’t the only parts of the body that calcium benefits. The mineral is also a vital part of good cardiac health. It is responsible for helping the heart contract. A calcium deficiency can become a life-threatening problem in people with cardiac issues. Proper supplementation may be required to keep the heart beating in a healthy way.
Calcium is also an important part of muscle health. Much like the heart, if calcium is lacking the muscles cannot contract properly. Muscle fibers hold calcium when performing exercise and other activities. The mineral helps improve performance and endurance and helps replenish energy after workouts. Calcium is not only important for exercise but also for muscle health in regular activities.
Nervous System Health
In addition to all its other benefits, calcium plays a part in keeping the nervous system healthy. We talked about muscle health; the nervous system gets involved here, too, using calcium to send calcium ions to the muscles to enable contractions. Calcium is also responsible for the injury response of the nervous system. The body sends calcium from the nervous system to damaged cells for protection. The mineral also prevents resources from being wasted on dead cells and is heavily involved in brain cell development.
Kidney Stone Prevention
Kidney stones are a type of calcium crystal that form from a different kind of calcium thought to come mainly from tap water. Compounds in the kind of calcium we’re talking about bind to these crystals and reduce their size. People who drink milk regularly or take calcium supplements are a much lower risk of developing kidney stones.
Calcium has long been a great ally when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. If your diet is lacking in calcium, it can go into starvation mode, during which it begins storing fat at a high rate to make up for the deficiency. This weight is harder to lose and contributes to a slower metabolism. If milk is not an option for you, there are several fruits and vegetables that can increase your daily intake.
Reducing Colon Cancer Risks
Decreasing the risk of cancer is not something for which calcium is commonly credited, but the mineral has been shown to reduce risk. Studies show people who drink milk on a regular basis have a smaller chance of developing colon polyps, which are an early sign of colon cancer. Excess calcium is also secreted to rid carcinogenic toxins from the body.
Bone Growth in Womb
Pregnant women need to keep an eye on their calcium and vitamin D levels for a good reason. The two superpowers work together to help the fetus grow healthy bones. It is important that pregnant women get plenty of the mineral because the baby will be taking most of it and as a result, the mother can become deficient. A doctor may recommend calcium supplements if daily doses aren’t met.
PH level refers to the amount of acidity within our bodily fluids. Sugary treats and other factors can contribute to rising levels of acidity in the body. Reducing this level every so often is essential to maintaining a healthy PH, and calcium can assist the body with this balance. If you ever wondered why those antacid tablets have a high amount of calcium in them, now you know!