Calcium is a popular mineral that can be derived from food. It also occurs in various forms in nature. Several underground sources of water contain abundant quantities of calcium; however, the easiest way to obtain the adequate amount of calcium needed by the human body is through food. There are several benefits of calcium to the human health, they include:
It helps build and maintain healthy bones and teeth
The most important benefit of calcium is that it helps the body build healthy bones and teeth. During infancy, calcium is very essential for proper bone and teeth development. All through life, an adequate intake of calcium helps proper skeletal development. It also helps prevent bone related diseases. During old age, when human bones become porous and weak, a substantial intake of calcium is needed to maintain healthy and strong bones. Furthermore, people who take adequate quantities of calcium would recover faster from injuries.
Helps reduce the risk of colon cancer
Calcium helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. Studies have shown that an adequate intake of calcium reduces colon cancer polyps development. When there is a substantial intake of calcium, the remainder that is not utilized would bind with food waste which is about to be excreted from the body. This process would inactivate minerals and compounds that remain in the colon and cause the development of colon cancer polyps. Moreover calcium aids the excretion process which ensures that residues do not remain in the colon to cause cancer.
Promotes normal cardiac function
Calcium plays an essential role in muscle contraction. This works because calcium ensures that the muscles of the heart contract the way it should. Calcium ions ensure that the heart maintains the proper electrical charge gradient which keeps the heart beating. An adequate intake of calcium ensures that the heart functions the way it should.
Promotes weight loss
Calcium helps maintain normal body weight. Diets rich in calcium promote fat loss thereby ensuring that the body maintains an optimal weight. When a person’s body does not receive adequate calcium, the body releases parathyroid hormone to fill the vacuum. Parathyroid hormone stimulates the production of fat in the body and also prevents the breakdown of fat. If this situation continues unchecked for a long period of time, there would be excess fat in the body and obesity would set in. Moreover, excess fat in the body can make a person susceptible to other diseases.
Helps prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones are crystallized deposits of minerals in the urinary tract. Kidney Stones occur and develop when certain minerals are retained in the body and are not excreted. An adequate intake of calcium can help prevent this ugly trend. Calcium Gluconate or calcium carbonate binds with residues that remain in the kidney after all other residue has been excreted. This process promotes the excretion of these residues thereby making it impossible for kidney stone to develop.
Helps balance body pH
Body pH refers to the degree of acidity or alkalinity of body fluids. Humans consume certain foods that contribute to increased acidity within the body system. These include food that contain preservatives, and food that have high sugar content. Without the intake of calcium, there would be a continuous increase in body acidity. This could cause diseases like high blood pressure, hypertension and cancer. However, when calcium is taken in adequate quantities, it helps neutralize the acidity in the body thereby ensuring a balance in body pH levels.
Regulates blood pressure
Research and studies have shown that a diet rich in calcium helps regulate blood pressure. Calcium plays an important role in blood coagulation (clotting), moreover, because calcium ensures optimal function of the heart, an intake of food rich in calcium helps regulate blood pressure.
Transportation of nutrients
Calcium is very important to the body. It affects the transportation of other minerals and nutrients to the body cells. Without an adequate intake of calcium, taking other nutrients would be of little effect as they may not be optimally delivered to the cells that need them. This is one of the reasons why a person should ensure that calcium is taken in adequate quantities.
Helps prevent oral diseases
A diet rich in calcium helps prevents oral diseases. Deficiency of calcium causes soft teeth, cavities and enamel wear. Moreover, deficiency of calcium may result in bleeding gums which would pave way for other oral diseases.
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is caused by poor calcium intake and poor bone mineralization. When calcium is consumed in sufficient quantities, it prevents Osteoporosis from occurring. Why you should prioritize plant based calciumPlant based calcium is the preferred form of calcium. The reasons are numerous. One of them is that plant based calcium is accompanied by other beneficial compounds which includes antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Furthermore, plant based calcium does not pose problems for people with special dietary conditions. One of the biggest problems of calcium consumption is that people with bowel conditions such as Celiac’s disease cannot take dairy products as this could trigger certain complications. However, people with this disease can take plant based calcium without suffering from complications.
Furthermore, plant based calcium is a healthier source of calcium compared to it’s diary counterpart. Moreover, they are more readily available and are cheaper to produce. Plant based calcium is also better absorbed by the body when compared to diary based calcium. For instance, protein intake promotes calcium loss through urination.
However, plant based calcium is less likely to be wasted by the body. To cap it all, plant based calcium is easier to digest. People who take plant based calcium are less likely to suffer from constipation and indigestion.
Good Sources of plant based calcium
There are several delicous sources of plant based calcium that you can enjoy. Some of them are even richer in calcium than their diary counterparts. They include spearmint, cinnamon, sesame seeds, chives, maca powder, mesquite powder, spirulina, tahini,carob powder, soybeans, flaxseed, peppermint, tofu, cacao, almonds, oranges, legumes, quinoa, kale, wakame, wasabi, hazelnuts, bok choy, walnuts, peanuts, lucuma, kumquats, edamame, miso, lentils, endive,raisins, broccolli, swede among others.