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April 21, 2008

Health Benefits of Calcium

Health Benefits of Calcium

It’s commonly known that calcium plays a major role in bone and tooth health. However, most people don’t know that calcium is also essential to blood clotting, hearth rhythm, nerve transmission, muscle function, and cell membrane function.

Milk and dairy products are sources of calcium for most people, but if you do not tolerate dairy products well, there are vegetables that are good sources of calcium. Greens such as collard and turnip are rich in calcium. You can also get calcium from tofu, broccoli, and kale.

One thing you might not know about calcium is that calcium is a natural tranquilizer that will help you sleep and this is why some people drink warm milk before bed. Calcium also key in aiding metabolism, so if you are getting Charlie horses and muscle cramps, try getting a little extra calcium in your diet. Calcium works synergistically with Vitamin D to be absorbed and used, and as you get older calcium is absorbed less.

The recommended daily allowance for calcium is as follows.


* Age 15-24: 1200 mg
* Age 25-up: 800 mg


* Age 15-24: 1200 mg
* Age 25-up: 800 mg

Pregnant/Nursing: 1200 mg

Exercise slows down the calcium loss which is why people with osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases are told to get more exercise. Your body will actually lose more calcium if you are under emotional stress because the stress flushes it out of your system. As a pain killer, calcium is also an excellent choice. It has been used in conjunction with Vitamin D to relieve dental pain, and it has also been used via injection for treating pleurisy.

Signs of a calcium deficiency include muscle cramps, insomnia, poor growth, growing pains, teeth and gum problems, weak muscles, painful joints and arthritis. Other sources of getting calcium into your body naturally are foods such as cheese, soybeans, sardines and salmon, peanuts and walnuts, and sunflower seeds.

There are also several herbs which are naturally high in calcium, and these can be taken as daily supplements if needed. Some of the best herbs for calcium include Alfalfa, Black Walnut, Capsicum (Cayenne), Chamomile, Dandelion, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Kelp, Parsley, Rosemary, and Sage. If you decide to take calcium supplements, take it in many forms such as calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, calcium aspartate, and calcium chelate. By taking calcium in its many forms, you assure effective utilization of this great mineral. Trace minerals are an excellent complement to your calcium supplement. Research shows that trace minerals such as boron, vanadium, and manganese are crucial for proper use of calcium in the body.

As you can see there are many options for adding calcium to your diet—even if you cannot tolerate dairy products. This mineral is necessary to help counter effect environmental toxins and diseases. Many doctors feel that most, if not all, of today’s chronic illnesses are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. By increasing the amount of calcium in your daily diet, you’re doing yourself a favor by preventing future illnesses thereby reducing healthcare costs.

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