Calcium is a mineral or chemical element. Its scientific symbol is Ca and atomic no is 20. It is a gray alkaline earth metal and is considered as the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust. Calcium is the chief mineral for every living being. In cell physiology it functions as a signal for many cellular processes by a movement of Calcium ion Ca2+ in and out of the cytoplasm. Calcium is important for the mineralization of teeth and bones. It helps to make the bones strong and prevent it from causing fractures. All Calcium is stored in bones and teeth to support their structure and hardness.
We need Calcium for many body functions to perform well. It is needed for the free movement of the muscles and nerves to carry messages from the brain to other parts of the body. This mineral is found in many food items. So we should take appropriate diets to fulfill the need of Calcium for the body.
Other Names of Calcium
There are other names for calcium such as Calcium Citrate, Calcium Citrate Malate, Acetate de Calcium, Bone Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Chelate, Calcium de Gluconate, Calcium Disuccinate, Calcium Aspartate, Aspartate de Calcium, Calcium Carbonate, Calcio and Calcium Acetate.
Food that contains Calcium
Deficiency of Calcium causes numbness in skin and fingers, abnormal heart beats, muscle cramps, convulsions and lethargy. In the same way excess of Calcium in the body may cause heart attack, stroke and kidney stone.
Following is the list of foods rich in Calcium:
- Cheese: Cheese contains lot of Calcium in it. There are different varieties of cheese such as parmesan cheese. It contains the highest amount (1376 mg) per 100g of Calcium in it. There are other cheese also such as Romano (298 mg per ounce), Gruyere (283 mg per ounce) and Mozzarella (212 mg per ounce).
- Sesame seeds: These seeds when roasted or dried provide the maximum Calcium with 989mg per 100g. Sesame Butter (Tahini) provides about ½ the amount of calcium with 426mg (43%DV) of calcium per 100g serving, 119mg (12% DV) per ounce and 64mg.
- Flax seeds: It also has calcium; particularly it is known for Omega3 fats. It includes 255mg (26% DV) per 100g serving, 428mg (43% DV) per cup, and 26mg (3% DV) per tablespoon of calcium in it.
- Yogurt: Low fat yogurt delivers the most calcium with 183mg (18% DV) per 100 gram serving, 415mg (42% DV) per cup.
- Greens: Vegetables especially dark leafy greens are a good source of Calcium. Dandelion greens give 103mg (10%DV) per cup. Raw turnip has 190mg (19% DV) per 100 gram serving, collard greens 5% DV per cup, mustard greens 6% DV per cup and Kale 9% DV per cup.
- Brazil nuts: It is the largest of all nuts and a good source of calcium. It gives 160mg (16% DV) of calcium per 100 gram serving, 213mg (21% DV) per cup, and 45mg (4% DV) per ounce (or about 6 nuts).
Calcium for Menopause
Menopause is the most crucial period for women. In this condition the bones become weak and especial care is needed. Besides the Calcium rich foods like Sardines, cheese and milk they should take calcium based supplements to increase the density of bones. After the age of 50 most women suffer from fractures of hips, wrist and spine. This means that intake of calcium based supplement is a must in this age. As the age increases many hormonal imbalances occur in the body. Spectrum salts contains appropriate amount of calcium and potassium in it. Ionic minerals and trace elements also contain calcium. By including them in the diet helps the body to gain right amount of calcium. Taking it in the liquid form is the best in menopause. Every woman should take it in liquid form for long term good health of the bone structure.
Benefits of Calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral for the body. An adult contains 2 to 3 pounds of calcium in their body and 99% in the bones and teeth as well as 1% in the blood cells. One cup of milk has 300mg of calcium.
The benefits of calcium are:
- It promotes strong and healthy bones.
- It helps to maintain blood pressure.
- It reduces the possibility of colon cancer.
- It reduces the symptoms of PMS.
- It transmits nerve impulses and controls muscle contraction.
- It helps to develop hormone secretion.
- It improves clotting of blood.
- It helps to heal the injuries.
Side Effects of Calcium
Side effects of Calcium are quite serious and proper care should be taken if you notice it and inform your provider as soon as possible.
Here are the possible side effects:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
- Changes in your heart rate
- Swelling of the mouth and throat.
- Hives and rashes.
- Wheezing and difficulty in breathing.
Calcium is a safe mineral if you take a normal dose. It helps you in many ways especially in menopausal symptoms. But if you feel any change in your health, consult your provider. He will treat you properly.