Calcium is one of the most important minerals for our health. It is essential for bone and teeth health and it also helps control muscle and nerve functions, as well as regulates the acid/alkaline balance (called pH) in the blood. Calcium is found in your body more than any other mineral. Almost 99 percent of it is stored in your bones and teeth.
The other 1 percent is present in the blood, muscles and other bodily tissues and fluid. Calcium deficiency can lead to some serious problems such as osteoporosis, rickets, muscle spasm or numbness in various parts of the body. In this article, we share some tips you need to do to increase your calcium intake.
• Consume Calcium-Rich Foods: The first step you should take to increase you calcium intake is to eat foods that are rich in calcium. Fortunately, the options are many and some of these foods are dairy products, blackstrap molasses, soy products, sardines, fortified cereals and dark leafy greens.
• Get Enough Vitamin D: Vitamin D raises the absorption of calcium levels in your body. Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, so it is important to spend several minutes under the sun per day. But remember to avoid direct sunlight between the mid-morning and early afternoon hours and also avoid the excessive exposure to sunlight because it can lead to skin cancer. Also, you can get enough vitamin D by consuming vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish, fortified milk, fortified cereal, cheese, liver, eggs, butter, margarine, shrimp and oysters. If you want to take vitamin D supplements, you should ask your doctor first.
• Quit Drinking Soda: Soda can disrupt calcium absorption, so it is recommended to avoid drinking soda. An excessive consumption of soda beverages can cause a sudden rise in the phosphate levels present in your blood and high levels of phosphates prevent calcium consumption.
• Avoid Excess Caffeine: Many people love drinking coffee but, it is not allowed to an individual who has calcium deficiency to drink more coffee. Caffeine present in coffee can leach calcium from bones, thereby depleting their strength. According to a 2006 study published in the Osteoporosis International journal, a daily intake of 4 cups of coffee or more may cause increased risk of osteoporotic fractures, especially in women with low calcium intake. If you cannot quit coffee, you can add some milk to it to minimize the effect of caffeine.