The most crucial mineral found in human body is Calcium. Our teeth and bones are the major constituent of calcium. Actually 99 percent of calcium is used by our body to keep our teeth and bones strong and maintaining skeleton structure and its functioning. Remaining calcium in our body performs important function like cell signaling, muscle contraction and nerve function.
In short it is because of calcium we are able to move. Calcium is required by our body as it:
- Maintains regular heart beat
- For strong bones and teeth
- For clotting blood in case of injury
- Squeezing and relaxing muscles
- Communicating with nerve signals
- For discharging hormones and other chemicals
- Regulates Blood Pressure
Sources of calcium
Adults are recommended to consume 1000 mg of calcium per day.
- Dairy Products
- Milk: it should be consumed not more than 500 ml a day
Stop believing on myth that dairy products are the only source of calcium. Lactose intolerant people can also opt for other sources of calcium mentioned below.
- Other sources
Green Leafy Vegetables: Broccoli, bokchoy, cabbage, spinach, kale, turnips, okra and collard greens. Also sarso (mustard), methi (fenugreek) and chaulai (Amaranth) are the powerhouse of iron, vitamins and minerals. They can be added with other vegetables, soup, juices or smoothies.They are inexpensive and easily available. They also boost immunity, regulate blood pressure and nervous system.
- Sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds contain 88 mg of calcium. Besides decorating hamburger they can deflate inflammation, regulate blood pressure and fight against cancer causing cells.
- Non-vegetarian sources:canned salmon and sardines with soft bones. Along with calcium they are loaded with vitamin D and omega 3
- Nuts: like dried figs, almonds, makhane, akhrot(brazil nuts)
- White Beans:lentils and beanslike urad and urad chilkha dal, masoor dal, toor dal, rajma(kidney beans), soybeans, lobia (black eyed peas).
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Cereals: like oats, corn flakes, raisin bran
- Orange Juice
- Soy Milk
Calcium and weight loss
Weight loss plan with the help of green leafy vegetable is the healthiest idea as these vegetables are low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber. We feel more filling after having calcium rich diet and so avoid unhealthy eating habits. Moreover calcium rich diet also prevents regaining weight.
When our body get enough calcium then our bones become stronger and we tend to increase more physical activities.
A reminder for people who think that having tea and coffee can boost their calcium level are wrong. Dieticians suggest that tea and coffee should be avoided for better calcium absorption.
Can also have food fortified with calcium but try to opt more for natural sources instead. Moreover Guru also recommends that for better absorption of calcium in body we should also take optimum vitamin D. Vitamin D helps our body to use calcium.Physical exercise also improves absorption of calcium in body but avoid fatty products