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Calcium - What Are The Best Calcium Sources For Women?

Calcium is a crucial nutrient for women of all ages, playing a vital role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Unfortunately, many women don’t get enough calcium in their diets, putting them at risk for osteoporosis and other health problems.

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How Much Calcium Do Women Need?

The recommended daily intake of calcium for adult women is 1,000 milligrams (mg), increasing to 1,200 mg for women over 50 years old. However, many women don’t meet these requirements through diet alone, and may need to supplement with calcium.

Sources of Calcium

Calcium can be found in a variety of foods, including dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as leafy green vegetables like kale and broccoli, and fortified foods like orange juice and cereal. Additionally, some types of fish like salmon and sardines contain high levels of calcium.

Calcium and Bone Health

Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones, which is especially important for women as they age. Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, is a major health concern for women, and adequate calcium intake can help prevent this condition.

Calcium and Muscle Function

Calcium plays a crucial role in muscle function, including muscle contraction and relaxation. Adequate calcium intake can help improve muscle function, which is important for athletic performance and overall physical health.

Other Health Benefits

In addition to its role in bone and muscle health, calcium has been linked to other health benefits, including reducing the risk of high blood pressure, colon cancer, and kidney stones.

Calcium Supplements

If you’re having trouble meeting your calcium needs through diet alone, you may want to consider taking a calcium supplement. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regimen, as too much calcium can have negative health effects.

See Also

“Need to Know” About Calcium Supplements

Courtesy of physician Dr. Sanaz Majd

Best Calcium Sources for Women?

The best sources of calcium for women include:

  1. Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are the most well-known calcium-rich foods. One cup of milk contains around 300 milligrams of calcium, while a single serving of cheese or yogurt can provide around 200 milligrams of calcium.
  2. Leafy green vegetables: Vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens are also excellent sources of calcium. One cup of cooked kale, for example, contains around 90 milligrams of calcium.
  3. Fortified foods: Some foods, such as orange juice, cereal, and tofu, are fortified with calcium. Check the labels of these products to determine the exact amount of calcium they contain.
  4. Fish: Some types of fish, including salmon and sardines, contain high levels of calcium. A 3-ounce serving of canned salmon with bones, for example, contains around 180 milligrams of calcium.
  5. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds are all good sources of calcium. One ounce of almonds, for example, contains around 75 milligrams of calcium.

It’s important for women to get enough calcium in their diet, as it plays a crucial role in bone health and preventing osteoporosis. If you’re having trouble getting enough calcium through food alone, talk to your doctor about whether a calcium supplement may be appropriate for you.

Calcium and Pregnancy

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, women need more calcium to support the growth and development of their baby’s bones. Pregnant women under the age of 19 and breastfeeding women under the age of 18 need 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day, while pregnant women over the age of 19 and breastfeeding women over the age of 18 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.

Conclusion

Calcium is an essential nutrient for women’s health, playing a crucial role in bone and muscle function, as well as other important bodily processes. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet through a combination of calcium-rich foods and supplements, and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your calcium intake.

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