Calcium is an essential mineral that is often under consumed as a part of poor diet. The importance of calcium in promoting strong bones and healthy teeth is well documented. However, the health benefits of calcium extend far beyond healthy bones, and include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight,
- Supporting cardiac health and healthy blood pressure,
- Decreasing the risk of kidney stones.
It’s also important to point out that calcium doesn’t typically function alone; the benefits of minerals often present with calcium, including magnesium, phosphorus, and boron, are also essential for optimal health and wellness.
The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Supporting Health
The role of vitamins and minerals in supporting good health is well established in the scientific community. Since ancient times, people have known that certain foods prevent illness while other foods encourage health and vitality.
As scientists, nutritionists, and dieticians began to further understand the role of vitamins and minerals, they quickly recognized the debilitating effects specific deficiencies have on the body. With advances in science and biochemistry allowing essential vitamins and minerals to be isolated from food sources, researchers discovered the ability of vitamins and minerals in pill, powder, or liquid form to correct, heal, and lead to a resolution of disease and an overall improvement in an individual’s health and wellness.
In a perfect world we might be able to get all of our essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, from the foods we eat; however, sourcing issues, dietary restrictions, and mainstream “western” diets of processed foods often prevent us from taking in the essential nutrients required for optimal health.
Why Calcium Is Important For Health
Your body needs calcium and gets it in one of two ways. One way is by consuming food that contains calcium. Food sources rich in calcium include milk and dairy products, legumes, and dark leafy greens like spinach or kale.
The other way to ensure you are consuming enough calcium is by supplementing with a high-quality calcium supplement. Most quality calcium supplements contain a variety of calcium types and are also paired with vitamin D; taking calcium with vitamin D improves absorption and seems to increase calcium’s effectiveness.
Health Benefits of CalciumStrong, Healthy Bones and Teeth
Calcium supports the growth strong bones and healthy teeth. Over time, those who do not get enough calcium may develop low bone mass and could develop osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become weak and brittle. Sufficient calcium intake is especially important for women going through menopause and are at risk for reduction of bone density commonly associated with osteoporosis.Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Not only does calcium build strong, healthy bones, it also has been shown to contribute to weight loss. Studies conducted by the Nutritional Institute at the University of Tennessee have shown that calcium stored in the body, and specifically in fat cells, has a profound effect on the body’s ability to burn fat. In fact, the research found that the more calcium stored in the body’s fat cells, the more fat the body burns.
Researchers involved with these studies concluded that calcium appears to create a slight increase in the body’s core temperature (also known as thermogenesis), which is thought to speed up the body’s metabolism and burn more body fat.Protect your Heart and Regulates Blood Pressure
Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles in the body, calcium plays an important role in assisting cardiac muscles in properly contracting and relaxing. Low calcium levels can result in a condition known as hypocalcaemia, which contributes to muscle cramps in the back and the legs. Hypocalcemia can also affect the muscles of the heart and cause an irregular heartbeat.
Calcium also helps the nervous system maintain pressure in the arteries, which assists in regulating blood pressure levels.Reduce the Risk of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in the human urinary tract and result from the crystallization of calcium and other minerals. Until recently, it was believed that kidney stones resulted from the absorption of high levels of calcium. Recent studies have demonstrated that increased levels of dietary calcium and adequate fluid consumption actually decrease the risk of kidney stones.Health Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium, along with calcium, serves as an important mineral making up your bones and teeth. Magnesium is found in every cell in the body and is essential for converting nutrients into energy, supporting normal muscle movement, and regulating the nervous system. Magnesium also seems to have a role in affecting overall mood and well being, as low levels have been associated with irritability, headaches, and depression.Health Benefits of Phosphorus
Next to calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Calcium and phosphorus often work in tandem to support the development of strong bones and healthy teeth. Children without adequate phosphorus tend to develop rickets and tooth decay, while adults may suffer bone problems too. Other symptoms of phosphorus deficiency can include joint pain, anxiety, and overall failure to thrive. Without phosphorus, the body cannot properly digest food or utilize other vitamins. Phosphorus also keeps the kidneys filtering waste and preventing the buildup of toxins. Phosphorus prevents muscle weakness and fatigue is essential for growth and repair of cells in the body.Health Benefits of Boron
Boron is a trace mineral that helps keep bones dense, preventing the development of arthritis and osteoporosis. Boron is very important as it affects the way the body absorbs other minerals, specifically calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus; the mineral has also been associated with increase production and use of vitamin D within the body.
In appropriate levels, boron improves strength and muscle tone while preventing aches and pains. Boron has also been shown to boost brain function, improve mental clarity, heal muscles, and alleviate discomfort associated with PMS.
Are You Getting Enough Calcium?
While it is possible to get adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and boron from a well-rounded diet, a restricted or poor diet leaves you susceptible to the symptoms associated with calcium deficiency; a supplement containing this essential mineral may be right for you.
Choose a calcium supplement that is formulated in a liquid or powder that your body can easily utilize, contains vitamin D, and is well balanced to provide the required amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Ideally, the supplement should contain multiple forms of calcium, as well as boron to aid in absorption. Make sure your minerals are sourced naturally and produced in an FDA approved facility.
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