Calcium: This Building Material Goes Into The Bones

Calcium is not only found in valuable rocks such as marble, it also has a valuable function in our bodies. It is the main component of bones and teeth. Everyone stores more than a kilo of calcium in their bones and teeth.

What does our body need calcium for?

The main task of calcium is to strengthen our bones and teeth. Over 99 percent of the calcium stored in the body is in the bones. But calcium also has an important function within the cells. In muscle cells, it provides the necessary contraction and within the blood, it is responsible for maintaining the cell membrane.

Calcium can be easily detected in the blood and measurements are taken here if there is a suspicion of a calcium deficiency. The normal blood level is between 2.2 millimoles (mmol) and 2.6 millimoles per liter. Children can have a slightly higher level of up to 2.7 millimoles per liter of blood.

Can you overdose on calcium?

Even if calcium is indispensable for our body and especially for the bones, you can also overdose on the building material. Calcium is not excreted by the body but is deposited in vessels and soft tissues if the dose is too high. Long-term overdoses lead to hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular problems. However, calcium must be taken in high amounts for years to become a real threat to our bodies.

What happens with calcium deficiency?

Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. If you take in too little calcium over a longer period, the body begins to break down the building material from the bones to ensure the supply of cells and blood. This then leads to what is known as bone loss (osteoporosis). For this reason, it is important to pay attention to your calcium balance. The daily requirement for an adult is around 1000 milligrams. This amount can be easily ingested through food. Only those who eat an unbalanced diet should take food supplements to cover their calcium needs. Seniors, young people, and pregnant women should consume up to 1200 milligrams of calcium a day. An intake of up to 2000 milligrams a day is considered harmless for our body.

However, to be effectively absorbed by the body, calcium needs vitamin D. This substance is produced by our body itself with the help of sunlight. That’s why it’s important, especially in winter, to get enough fresh air. A twenty-minute walk is enough. Hands and face must be free, through which the light can be absorbed.

Which foods contain calcium?

It is known that dairy products contain a lot of calcium. However, if you do not like cheese, yogurt, and Co. or prefer a vegan diet, there are plenty of other foods that can provide you with calcium. These include:

  • Poppy
  • sesame
  • Almonds and Hazelnuts
  • Kale
  • broccoli
  • radish
  • fennel
  • figs
  • Whole grain bread

When it comes to dairy products, hard cheeses are particularly popular. It contains up to 1300 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. However, poppy seeds are unbeaten. It contains up to 2500 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. The calcium content of the above foods per 100 grams is as follows:

  • Sesame: 800 mg
  • Almonds and hazelnuts: 250 mg
  • Figs: 250 mg
  • Kale: 200 mg
  • Broccoli, radish, and fennel: 150 mg
  • Wholemeal bread: 50 mg

You can easily cover your daily calcium requirements with these foods. Also, remember that increasing your calcium intake from time to time is just as safe as decreasing your calcium intake. Neither must happen over a long period. Only those who consume too little or too much calcium over several years risk damaging their health.

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Written by Florentina Lewis

Hello! My name is Florentina, and I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in teaching, recipe development, and coaching. I'm passionate about creating evidence-based content to empower and educate people to live healthier lifestyles. Having been trained in nutrition and holistic wellness, I use a sustainable approach toward health & wellness, using food as medicine to help my clients achieve that balance they are looking for. With my high expertise in nutrition, I can create customized meal plans that fit a specific diet (low-carb, keto, Mediterranean, dairy-free, etc.) and target (losing weight, building muscle mass). I am also a recipe creator and reviewer.

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