Calcium is an essential mineral that helps in strengthening bones. If there is a lack or not enough levels of calcium in the body, then it takes the required mineral from the bones leaving them weak and brittle. Lower calcium levels in the body can lead to rickets or osteoporosis.
The recommended dietary supplement of calcium for an adult under 50 is 1000 mg per day and above 50 years of age is 1200 mg per day. In post-menopausal women, the calcium required is 1500 mg per day.
There are many medical supplements for calcium in the market, in the form of tablets, powder, and syrup. But, it is better to get the calcium from natural sources.
These are some of the natural ways to improve calcium levels in the body.
Milk is the primary source of calcium for any person, be it a child or adult. 2 glasses of milk, one in morning and one in the evening helps a person to maintain enough calcium levels in the body. Nowadays we are getting milk fortified with the goodness of almonds and vitamin D which is more helpful.
Yogurt is made by bacterial fermentation of milk and has been used by humans for thousands of years. Not only very nutritious, eating yogurt regularly boosts the immunity and calcium levels in the body. One cup of yogurt provides 200 to 300mg calcium. Apart from helping in weight management, it is believed to aid in reducing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. For maximum calcium intake, drink Lassi with your meals twice a day.
Dark, leafy greens are one of the best natural sources of calcium. They are rich in magnesium and vitamin K which is helpful for maintaining bone integrity and density. Especially kale, collard greens and dark green lettuce and herbs like coriander, basil, parsley which are good in vitamin C. According to recent research, the antioxidants present in vitamin C protects bone cells from damage.
Consuming enough Protein helps in keeping your bones healthy. 50% of the bone is made up of protein. Protein helps in absorption of calcium by the bones. The natural protein sources include nuts like almonds, walnuts etc., and dairy, beans, soy products and meat, fish, chicken, eggs. Intake of high protein food in younger age goes a long way to protect our bones with fortified calcium in later stages.
We can increase the retention of calcium levels in the bones by performing weight bearing and strength training exercises. The high impact exercise will help to build and maintain strong bones.