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Among all the benefits of calcium, the most important ones are that it aids in maintaining bone health and dental health, as well as the prevention of colon cancer and the reduction of obesity. We need calcium from birth all the way until we reach old age. Calcium is found in the human body as deposits in the bones and teeth in high volumes. Traces of calcium are also present in the circulatory system, which prevent life threatening hemorrhages. Health benefits of calcium are enumerated below.
- Strengthens Bones
Calcium strengthens the backbone and ensures the right shape to the body, as well as helping to alleviate the presence of back pain. Calcium helps to keep the bones in their proper shape and prevents many skeletal complaints like arthritis and osteoporosis, which could hamper your freedom of movement, as well as being extremely painful.
- Prevents Obesity
Calcium efficiently helps in maintaining optimal body weight in both males and females. If there is any deficiency in calcium in your diet, the body will tend to release parathyroid hormone, which in turn stimulates the bones to release calcium into your bloodstream. This hormone also stimulates the production of fat and prevents its breakdown, which can subsequently make you obese.
- Protects Cardiac Muscles
Calcium protects your heart muscles. Sufficient amounts of calcium can help cardiac muscles to contract and relax properly. Calcium also helps the nervous system maintain the proper pressure in your arteries. If there is a calcium drop, a hormone called calcitriol is released, which contracts the smooth muscles of the arteries, thereby increasing the blood pressure. Cardiac muscles need extracellular calcium ions for contraction.
- Prevents Colon Cancer
Adequate calcium prevents overall risk of colon cancer and suppresses the growth of polyps that can lead to cancer. Calcium supplementation reduces the risk of adenomas, as well as nonmalignant tumors in the colon. This is actually a precursor to colon cancer, but it’s still not known if calcium intake minimizes the cancer risk completely. The excess calcium is left in your intestines after your body absorbs what it needs. On its way through the colon, this unabsorbed calcium is believed to bind with cancer promoters so they’re excreted together from the body.
- Prevents Premenstrual Depression
Adequate amounts of calcium lessen the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome like dizziness, mood swings, hypertension and many others. Low levels of calcium might trigger the release of the hormones that are responsible for premenstrual mood swings including irritability and depression.
- Prevents Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones are actually crystallized deposits of calcium and other minerals in the human urinary tract. The most common form of kidney stones is oxalate stones. Previously, it was thought that high calcium intake or high calcium absorption develops kidney stones, but the latest studies show that high dietary calcium intake decreases the risk of kidney stones considerably. In short, dietary calcium does not cause kidney stones, but the excess calcium present in water results in kidney stones.
- Ensures a Healthy Alkaline pH Level
Junk foods, excess sugars, and preserved food items contribute in forming acidity in the body, which in turn could give rise to various disease conditions like cancer, kidney stones and hypertension. Calcium helps to maintain a healthy pH level, thereby improving your vitality and overall health.
- Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums
Calcium protects your teeth by keeping the jaw bone strong and sturdy throughout your life, which in turn ensures tight fitting teeth where bacteria cannot thrive. Thus, before your teeth and gums start giving you any trouble, be sure to maintain a calcium rich diet. Calcium intake should be high, especially at young ages, so that your children naturally grows up with strong teeth.
Calcium is easily available in milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Furthermore, nuts, tinned salmon, seeds and pulses are good sources of calcium. It is a popular idea that milk is the greatest source of calcium. Fishes like salmon and sardines, leafy green vegetables including broccoli, spinach, orange juice, cereals, oysters, rice beverages, soy, almonds, black-eyed peas and green peas are also rich sources of calcium. Regular calcium supply is very important in growing children and teenagers as it can substantially reduce the risks of osteoporosis in old age. This bone ailment is common in one out of every three women and in one man in every 12, above 50 years of age.