In the intricate world of health and nutrition, one essential mineral often overlooked is calcium. This unassuming mineral plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and integrity of our bones and teeth, but it goes far beyond that.
In this guide, we will delve into the nuances of calcium deficiency, its telltale signs and symptoms, and, most importantly, the solutions to ensure you meet your daily calcium requirements.
The Importance of Calcium
Calcium is not just for building robust bones and teeth; it’s a mineral that plays multiple roles in maintaining our overall health. It is a vital element for various physiological functions, including muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve transmission. Moreover, calcium is essential for maintaining a healthy heart rhythm and ensuring cells throughout our body function optimally. This element should, of course, be provided in the diet, but if you cannot afford it, calcium supplements become necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
- Muscle Cramps and Spasms: An early sign of calcium deficiency is muscle cramps and spasms, which can be particularly noticeable during physical activities.
- Brittle Nails: Weak and brittle nails that break easily can indicate a lack of calcium.
- Tooth Decay: Calcium is a cornerstone of dental health. Its deficiency can lead to tooth decay and gum problems.
- Osteoporosis: Prolonged calcium deficiency can result in osteoporosis, a condition characterized by fragile and porous bones.
- Numbness and Tingling: Insufficient calcium may lead to numbness and tingling sensations, especially in the fingers and toes.
- Fatigue: Persistent tiredness and fatigue can be related to a lack of calcium.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
Many ask: how much calcium per day? It is a difficult question to answer. The daily calcium intake requirement varies by age and gender. On average, adults should aim for around 1000-1300 milligrams of calcium per day. However, it’s crucial to note that children, teenagers, and older adults may have different needs.
- Children (1-3 years old): 700 milligrams per day
- Children (4-8 years old): 1000 milligrams per day
- Teenagers (9-18 years old): 1300 milligrams per day
- Adults (19-50 years old): 1000 milligrams per day
- Adults (51 and older): 1200 milligrams per day
Sources of Calcium
There are many sources of calcium, but the most important are:
- Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich sources of calcium.
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and collard greens offer calcium along with other essential nutrients.
- Fortified Foods: Many foods, like cereals and plant-based milk, are fortified with calcium.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds are calcium-packed snacks.
- Fish with Edible Bones: Canned sardines and salmon are excellent sources.
Calcium Supplements for Kids
Ensuring children get the right amount of calcium is vital for their growth and development. If their diet lacks sufficient calcium-rich foods, paediatricians may recommend calcium supplements for kids. These supplements are available in kid-friendly formats like chewable tablets and gummies.
Calcium Citrate Supplements
Calcium citrate is a common form of calcium supplement, especially for those with digestive issues. It is well-absorbed even when taken with or without food, making it a versatile choice. Discuss with your healthcare provider if calcium citrate supplements are right for you.
If you are looking for calcium tablets, check out the Nutri-link range, where you will find a wide range of high-quality nutritional supplements.