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We all know how important the mineral calcium is for our bones. It is necessary for the growth of our bones and for maintaining the overall bone density in our body. Since early childhood parents push their kids to consume a diet rich in calcium. They want their children to have stronger bones during their growing age, as bones provide structural support to the body. Some children tend to grow faster than others, hence they require more calcium for their body.
Even adults require strong and healthy bone structure. If calcium consumption is less and more calcium is flushed out of the body, there is a great chance that the bones will become weak. This increases the chance of fractures on medium-strong impacts. Another problem is, that weaker bones will not be able to support the weight of the body and the overall structure. This can lead to muscles to have majority of impact on them in order to support the body structure. As a result there will be more stress on the muscles , especially the joint muscles (tendons, cartilage in joints). As a result these muscles will go under wear and tear at a higher rate, thus increasing the chance of joint injuries.
Spinal cord being the major bone structure supporting the back, needs a good supply of calcium for it’s over all strength and to maintain the over all posture of the body. A weaker spinal cord structure can cause excruciating pain in the back, making it difficult to stand, sit and even sleep. In humans, women tend to lose calcium faster than men. This is due to blood loss in women during periods, pregnancy and post menopause which is the major factor in late ages.
The real question is, “Does consuming calcium rich foods enough for our bones”?
No, just consuming calcium is not enough. The important thing is whether body is absorbing calcium from food for making the bones strong and to maintain their strength. Research suggests both men and women after the age of 35 start losing calcium from their body. If good calcium intake along with good calcium absorption doesn’t occur in the body, there are great chances of developing osteoporosis – a disease in which the bone density decreases and chances of fractures increase, along with other joint problems. In order to overcome this our body needs a good supply of calcium along with good calcium absorption.
How to achieve higher bone density or higher bone mineral density?
Just like muscles need protein, our bones need calcium. In order to have stronger and bigger muscles, one need a diet rich in protein and should engage in regular exercises. If we only consume protein and do not engage in exercise, protein will not be absorbed by the body and will be flushed out quite easily. The same way calcium is absorbed by the body more often, when we exercise on a regular basis. Research suggests that weight-bearing exercises increase bone density and make bones heavier and stronger. According to the research (Dana L. Creighton, Amy L. Morgan, Debra Boardley, P. Gunnar Brolinson, Journal of Applied Physiology, Published 1 February 2001, Vol. 90, Page no. 565-570), athletes involved in sports producing higher weight-bearing exercises have higher bone density mass as compared to sportsmen and sportswomen who were involved in less weight-bearing/resistance activity. This means both men and women along with their calcium diet should also engage in weight-bearing exercises from an early age to increase bone density, thus increasing the chances of stronger/healthier bones and reducing the chances of osteoporosis in the older age.
Another way to increase calcium absorption in the body is by consuming food rich in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important nutrient which helps in making our bones stronger by helping our bones to absorb more calcium. The good news is, that this nutrient is naturally available from Sun. All you have to do is spend at least half an hour to one hour a day in the Sun. Make sure you wear sun screen to protect your skin from damaging. Some of the foods rich in Vitamin D are fish, eggs, button mushrooms, oysters, caviar, etc. Now days you can find many fortified milk products to which Vitamin-D is added. Cod Liver is one of the most popular supplement for Vitamin D.
In conclusion, just consuming a rich diet of calcium is not good enough for our bones. One must consume foods rich in Vitamin D, spend time in the Sun and most importantly conduct in weight-bearing exercises for better calcium absorption, so to achieve higher bone density and have stronger bones. By doing this you are pushing away the common bone disease Osteoporosis.
-EAT ALL FRESH 🙂