Calcium helps to build bones and perform various vital functions. About 1 per cent of this mineral is consumed in metabolic activities such as muscle functioning, nerve conduction, hormone secretion, vasodilatation and contraction, and intracellular signaling. It is essential to take the recommended amount of this mineral daily, especially as we age, to avoid the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.
How much calcium do we need?
The recommended daily intake of this mineral depends on age. The following table shows how much calcium you should be consuming based on your age:
|0-6 months||200 mg||200 mg|
|7-12 months||260 mg||260 mg|
|1-3 years||700 mg||700 mg|
|4-8 years||1000 mg||1000 mg|
|9-13 years||1300 mg||1300 mg|
|14-18 years||1300 mg||1300 mg|
|19-50 years||1000 mg||1000 mg|
|51-70 years||1000 mg||1200 mg|
|>70 Years||1200 mg||1200 mg|
Foods high in calcium
It is essential to include a wide range of calcium-rich foods in the diet and plenty of other helpful nutrients as well. The table below gives foods that are high in calcium and also the percentage of recommended daily value:
|Food||Milligrams (mg) per serving||Percentage DV|
|Low-fat plain yoghurt, 1 cup||415 mg||32 %|
|Calcium-fortified orange juice, 1 cup||349 mg||27 %|
|Partly skimmed mozzarella, 42 g||333 mg||26 %|
|Non-fat milk, 1 cup||299 mg||23 %|
|Calcium-fortified soymilk, 1 cup||299 mg||23 %|
|Boiled spinach, ½ cup||123 mg||9%|
|Canned sardines with bones, 85 g||325 mg||25%|
The calcium supplements are available in calcium tablets with vitamin D and multi-vitamins with calcium. Supplements are recommended by a doctor when dietary intake is not enough to meet daily needs. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are also common forms of calcium.
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Calcium can be obtained through food or supplements if necessary. Calcium requirement varies by age, and seniors need more of this mineral.
As long as you eat foods rich in calcium and get adequate vitamin D.
Consuming adequate calcium-rich foods will give you enough of this mineral daily. Seniors over 70 should get more than 1,200 mg of calcium a day.
Along with food, taking calcium with vitamin D supplements can raise calcium levels.
Dairy products are the best source of calcium, and supplements such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate also work.
Calcium deficiency shows increased muscle cramps, irregular heartbeats, frequent fractures, and brittle fingernails.