Calcium Does a Body Good: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and you might think that’s because of the essential role it plays in building strong bones; calcium’s importance, however, goes beyond preventing fractures and osteoporosis.
Calcium also supports healthy functioning of the cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous systems. Numerous studies have established a relationship between calcium intake, absorption and assimilation and a person’s risk for heart disease, colorectal cancer, kidney stones, PMS, insomnia, and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
Even though dairy products contain and are fortified with calcium, foods derived from cow’s milk may not be the best choice for many people because of allergies, intolerance and other digestive concerns. Eating a wide variety of whole foods is the best way to get the calcium your body needs for growth, maintenance, and repair.
Good dietary sources of calcium include almonds, dark leafy greens, legumes, and and nuts such as almonds. It is important, however, to be aware of the fact that that just because you’re consuming the recommended amount of calcium daily does not guarantee your body is absorbing and utilizing it properly.
Recommendations for a calcium supplement vary by age, gender, and development (e.g., puberty, pre or post-menopause), and are influenced by health issues, lifestyle habits and taking certain prescription medicines. Different forms of calcium (e.g., carbonate, citrate) are absorbed differently by the body. Check with your physician to determine if you need a calcium supplement, and which form and amount is best for you.