We have generally associated calcium with strong bones. It is an integral and vital part of the skeletal system. But you will be surprised to know that calcium has other qualities too. It can lower your blood pressure, enhance and reinforce your nerve and muscle functions, and is an ally in your fight against diabetes. Low levels of calcium can weaken your bones, make you perpetually tired, affect your heart, and contribute to a whole lot of other health issues.
How does calcium deficiency affect you?
The main areas affected are obviously the bones. They turn brittle and weak. Even a slight impact can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis sets in, which is a reduction in the density of your bones. It starts in women at the onset of menopause. It contributes to the high incidence of fracture above the age of 55.
Calcium gives the body further control in the process of clotting. It starts the process that culminates in the coagulation of blood.
It is a common feature of aging. Do you tire easily? If you are above fifty and feel fatigued for no obvious reasons, it might be a calcium deficiency.
The innumerable benefits
The parts most benefitted by the ingestion of calcium are obviously the bones. Calcium, along with Vitamin D and K provide the much-needed density and strength to bones. It reduces the chance of fractures in people above 55 when they are most susceptible.
Osteoporosis literally means brittle bones. It is a decrease in its density. The danger of osteoporosis is generally undetected until much later. The bones become fragile when they don’t receive the right amount of calcium.
Control your blood pressure
You might be surprised to know that there is a link between calcium and blood pressure. Low calcium in the body can be a potent reason for a spike in your BP. Calcium regulates heart function. It expands your blood vessels, thus increasing the flow of blood. Adequate intake of calcium can offset the contribution of sodium to high blood pressure.
Your ally against cancer
The role of calcium in the fight against cancer is seldom noticed but it works in tandem with Vitamin D to reduce the possibility of more than a dozen forms of cancer from attacking you. It helps the good cells to multiply and destroys the cancerous cells.
Boosts muscle and brain function
Calcium also supports your nerves and muscles. Calcium present in the brain helps control the discharge of neurotransmitters which activate your nerve cells. Lack of calcium intake prohibits the cells from interacting thus disrupting their function. Nerve stimulation causes muscles to contract and calcium aids the process.
Burn your fat away
Calcium intake is synonymous with weight loss. It decreases the production of the enzyme that accelerates the creation of fatty acids. Studies have proved that calcium intake increases fat burning and loss of belly fat.
Controls your diabetes
A significant benefit of calcium is its ability to prevent diabetes. Along with Vitamin D, calcium can help enhance glucose metabolism and thus manage blood sugar.
Ensures strong teeth
A significant amount of calcium is deposited in the teeth. So its deficiency causes tooth decay. Cavities were found more prevalent in children with low calcium intake.
Soothes your stomach
Calcium is also beneficial for individuals suffering from gastrointestinal problems and heartburns. It lowers the acid level in the stomach and alleviates the burning sensation.
Alleviates PMS symptoms
Calcium is effective in the management of premenstrual syndrome. Calcium absorption is at its lowest during this period. Symptoms such as depression and anxiety are the result of low calcium levels in the central nervous system. Maintaining an optimal level of calcium is important for women.
It is important to note that you can maximize your calcium intake by eating more foods rich in calcium than taking it in the form of medicines. Dairy products are the main source of calcium. The foods rich in calcium are Whey protein, sardines, canned salmon, kefir (a fermented beverage), white beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds okra, almonds, and loose-leafy plants like collard greens.