If you are a woman, you are probably taking a calcium supplement daily. It is because you were told by your friends or your health care provider that calcium is essential for optimum bone density as you age. But calcium is not just for bones and teeth. More and more studies witness the fact that there is hardly any body system in a human being that doesn’t benefit from a healthy dose of calcium. Let’s analyse that bit.

For calcium you may take sesame seeds, almonds, soya beans, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, kelp, parsley, olives, rhubarb, spinach, prunes, dandelion greens, broccoli, celery, crayfish, yogurt, ricotta, blue vein, castello and cultured cheese in your daily diet. Cow’s milk is a rich and welcome source of calcium except for those with diabetes, lactose intolerance, and those with a perpetual dislike for milk. Yet, cow’s milk is absorbed without hiccups (pun intended) by a child only until the age of 12 or 13 or even before that. As the child enters adulthood, it loses the power to extract calcium from milk. And an excess of milk in the diet may backfire causing indigestion, kidney stones, arthritic complaints and the like.

Perhaps, only a doctor can tell you about the utilization of calcium and its relationship with Vitamins A, C and D, parathyroid and iron. But I can definitely summarise the health benefits of this so called “miracle” mineral discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808.

  • Scientists have come up with an interesting finding that calcium can play a role in longevity. Though calcium intake has shown no significant relation to cancer, it is found to decrease the risk of heart diseases and “all-cause” premature mortality by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Calcium is important for one’s overall well being. Next to building up bone density, it helps in nerve transmission, heart function, blood-pressure regulation, blood clotting and many other body processes.
  • It is needed for muscle contractions. So athletes, watch out on your calcium levels.
  • An expert also points out that calcium can decrease the PMS stress by half. Thanks to calcium, the users experienced less irritability, mood swings, depression and other symptoms associated with Pre Menstrual Syndrome.
  • Calcium can thwart mid life weight gain and obesity. High calcium diet may deplete the fat cells through increased energy metabolism.
  • Calcium ensures better absorption of iron, the deficiency of which can cause anaemia.
  • Once in adolescence, a child can take almond milk, soya milk, sesame milk or goat’s milk for calcium and for easy digestion. Thus bringing down cow’s milk to the minimum.
  • Have a cup of chamomile tea after meals for a healthy supply of calcium and enhanced digestion.
  • Along with minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins A, C and D, calcium is the miracle mineral that can help your body to build, heal and repair.
  • You need to drink adequate amount of water (8 oz. of water) with calcium to enable full absorption of the mineral.
  • However, it is not wise to frantically increase your calcium intake due to the risk of kidney stones and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and hypercalcemia. The recommended dose of calcium through diet (not supplements) is 1,000 milligrams on an average.

-AparnA K V
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