Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body; when we think of calcium, we usually think of all the times that we were told as a child to drink our milk so that we’d grow big, and so that we’d have strong bones. While these things are directly associated with calcium, the mineral is responsible for so much more in the body than we give it credit for.
The truth is, calcium is also important for muscle development, the regulation of blood pressure, and skin health too. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg for men and 1,200 mg for women per day. However, ingesting calcium is only half of the battle, as not all calcium that we consume is absorbed straight into the body, and the amount we need to consume each day will vary depending on the source of the calcium.
Roughly 30 percent of the calcium we consume from dairy products is absorbed, the body actually needs bout 300-400 mg of calcium per day; however, when consuming dairy, the numbers need to be closer to the 1,000 mg mark.
Foods such as bone broth, dark leafy greens, fish with bones, and carrots are better sources of calcium for the body because they are fully absorbed, and the body can reap the benefits faster.
This being said, consuming too much calcium is a very real risk and can lead to increased risk of kidney stones and heart disease. Calcium helps to regulate the body’s pH, and many look to supplements in order to maintain a healthy balance. This external source of this vital mineral can cause problems, seeing as certain calcium supplements have been known to bring about serious health dangers. This is because studies have shown that dietary intake of calcium protects against heart disease, but supplemental calcium can actually increase the risk.
To ensure that you are getting your dose of calcium the right way, this mineral should be received as part of your food sources rather than through synthetic supplements or artificially-fortified foods. The body can react in a number of different negative ways to calcium that isn’t naturally found in the foods we consume. Fish with bones are an excellent source of calcium, so too are dark leafy greens. Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Bok Choy, Kale and Broccoli are all great sources of absorbable calcium. These dark leafy greens are also great sources of folate, Vitamins A, C, E and K and B-vitamins which are beneficial to the body’s health too.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.