As kids, we were all forced to drink milk followed by the statement, “It`s got calcium which helps in strengthening your bones and making you stronger.” Most of us hated the statement back then but now, no more being a kid, we have all learnt the importance of calcium. A deficiency in the body may lead to osteoporosis – a specific condition caused by loss of bone mass. If not treated in time, osteoporosis results in dental issues and fractures of bones.
As compared to men, women are more prone to health implications caused by calcium deficiency and are much more likely to develop osteoporosis. The simple reason for that is a woman`s body makes lesser bone than a man`s. To top that, women also lose bone at a higher speed than men. Up until the early twenties, a woman`s body builds bone and right after that, it starts to lose bone at the exact rate it builds bone.
Bone loss in women gradually rises after the age of 30 and progresses through menopause. Post menopause, women start to lose more bone than their bodies can build ergo it is of much importance that women include adequate amount of calcium in their daily diet.
On an average, women need a minimum of 1000-1200mg calcium every day. Those who are pregnant or feeding require 1200-1500mg calcium daily which caters to both, mother and child. If postmenopausal women are on estrogens, they require only 1000mg calcium; else a 1500mg is essential each day. Women who are over 65 years, must consume 1500mg calcium irrespective of their estrogen intake.
To increase the calcium amount in one`s daily diet, the most valuable source is dairy foods which include milk (whole, skim, low fat, no fat), yogurt, ice creams, cheese and tofu. Dairy products are not only high in calcium but in fat content as well. It`s not advised to solely depend on dairy products – they will also add to the rise in cholesterol level and calories. One should also consider foods like broccoli, vegetables, sardines, oysters, clams and salmon which are calcium rich.
Well, the fast paced lifestyle doesn`t allow most women to cook or shop for groceries everyday that`s why some women lag behind in consuming the required amount of calcium each day. Therefore, women should take over-the-counter calcium supplements in order to ensure their bodies get adequate calcium.
Pregnant and breast feeding women must intake adequate amount as the baby relies on only her mother to get his supply of calcium. This, however, doesn`t call for additional stacking as it may be harmful for the child. The core is to consult a doctor to meet determine one`s daily requirement of calcium during and after pregnancy.