Minimum Daily Requirement of Calcium for Healthy Living
Calcium requirement is easily met by the consumption of a balanced diet. Milk and milk products, whole or skimmed provide a good source of calcium. Cheese and yoghurt are some of the dairy products. Certain fortified foods available in the markets, such as orange juice and soy beverages also provide a high supply. Lentils and beans are certain calcium rich meat alternatives. The best part of milk calcium is the fact that it is easily assimilated and digested. Salmon and sardines, in the canned form are a good source of calcium, owing to the presence of crushed bones. Excessive intake of caffeine and salt in the diet results in a reduction of calcium, through the urine.
Daily Nutrition for Bones and Teeth
Avoid refined and processed foods, as they are laden with salt. More than four cups of caffeinated beverages result in calcium depletion. In case of individuals, with restriction of dairy products, opt for calcium supplements. Rice and pasta that are fortified also provide a good supply of calcium. Eight ounces of milk and yoghurt provide 300 and 450 mg of calcium respectively. An ounce of cheese provides around 200 mg of calcium, whereas a cup of green leaves, such as spinach and fenugreek leaves provide half, around 90 mg. Vitamin D is a nutrient, which is necessary for absorption of calcium. It is produced on the surface of the skin, on exposure to sun’s rays. The requirement of vitamin D is around 400 to 800 IU per day, for adults and for those above 50 years. The levels are higher between 600 and 800 IU for those above 70 years. Multivitamin supplements that are commercially available in the market provide around 200 to 400 IU.
The daily calcium requirement for pregnant and nursing mothers is more, around 1000 mg. Kids in the age range between four and eight years require 800 mg of calcium, whereas those between nine and eighteen need more (1300 mg per day). About 1500 mg of calcium is necessary during senescence, above fifty years of age.
Calcium is essential for the bones and teeth. It is also necessary for the contraction of the muscles of the heart. Transmission of nerve impulses and the messages is possible with calcium. Coagulation of blood also necessitates the presence of calcium. Calcium helps with bone growth, which in turn prevents the occurrence of degenerative diseases, such as osteoporosis. Fragile and poor bone growth results in osteoporosis. It protects the system from colon cancer, premenstrual syndrome and high blood pressure. Calcium requirement increases after menopause, due to hormonal imbalance.