You have probably heard of Calcium being an important nutrient, but did you know that it is a mineral found in the earth’s crust and it is the basic component of most animals and plants? Read on to learn more about the incredible health benefits of Calcium and how to easily increase your intake in a tasty way.
This week’s Nutrients by the Alphabet: Calcium
That’s right, in this new series – Nutrients by the Alphabet – you will learn all about important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), their health benefits, and easy and delicious ways to get more of the good stuff with a fun recipe to try each week (courtesy of my awesome student-intern from Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School – Shelby Persechino)!
So, what are the health benefits of Calcium?
Calcium is the most important mineral in the human body with amazing health benefits such as a healthy heart, teeth, bones, and many more. Everyone knows that calcium is good for maintaining and building healthy bones and teeth, but it also helps with heart, muscle, and nervous system health. Calcium helps to keep your heartbeat at a healthy rate and to keep your heart healthy, helps your muscles contract, helps build and maintain a strong skeletal structure, and helps your nerves send messages. Like I said, you probably already know most of this information, but did you know that Calcium also aids to protect against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Increasing your intake of calcium can also aid in weight loss and fat reduction. And for women, Calcium has the ability to relieve PMS symptoms such as cramps, muscle aches, bloating, moodiness, etc. So ladies, when it’s that time of the month, you may want to reach for some yogurt, cheese, or spinach instead of that chocolate bar… trust me, you’ll be needing some more Calcium!
So how much Calcium do you need daily and where can you find it?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adult women who are 50 years old or younger is 1,000 mgs of calcium, while adult women who are 51 years old or older require more (1,200 mgs of calcium). For adult men who are 70 years old or younger, the RDA is 1,000 mgs of calcium, while adult men who are 71 years old or older need more (1,200 mgs of calcium). You probably already know that you can find calcium in dairy products, yogurts, and cheese but you can also find it in kale, sardines (with bones), broccoli, almonds, okra, watercress, orange, common fig, spinach, soybean, kelp, etc.
Here is a high calcium, vegetarian, egg-free recipe for Apple and Cheddar Pita Pockets from “Eating Well”
Now, that looks so delicious and easy to make for a great lunch!