When you think of calcium, you probably immediately think of milk. Or healthy and strong bones.
What is Calcium? Why do you even need it? Where do you get it from? How much do you need? And what symptoms do you get when you are deficient?
These include the things we will learn here!
Calcium is a mineral and I think most people know that calcium is important for building and maintaining our bones and teeth. But did you know that calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body?! And that it is of great importance for our health? Calcium has quite a few important functions!
These are some of the processes in which calcium all works;
- Construction and maintenance of bones and teeth
- Ensures normal muscle function
- Contributes to normal impulse transmission in the nerves
- Supports blood clotting
- Contributes to tissue production and cell growth
- Supports your digestion
- Supports the transport of other minerals, such as sodium, potassium and magnesium
- Helps release energy from food
- Hormone Release
99% of calcium is in our bones and teeth! The remaining 1% is in the bloodstream and other tissues.
The part that is not absorbed by our bones and teeth is lost through sweat, urine and feces and because our body cannot make calcium itself, we must get this very important mineral through food!
We were taught in the past that calcium is in milk, milk products and cheese, but fortunately it is not only in that. Because as a vegan? So how do you get your calcium?
There is more than enough calcium in many plant sources!
Here’s a quick list of calcium sources! But of course it is in many more vegetable products!
Okay, now we know what calcium is, what it’s important for, and where we get it from!
But how much of it do we need? And what are the symptoms of deficiency?
How much of this mineral do you need? Below is a clear table in which you can see exactly how much you need!
If you do not structurally get enough calcium, you have the chance to run into a calcium deficiency. Early calcium deficiency causes virtually no symptoms. However, symptoms will develop as the deficiency worsens. Some symptoms are:
- Muscle problems, such as muscle aches, cramps and spasms
- Extreme fatigue
- Nail and skin conditions, such as dry skin, coarse hair, brittle nails and hair loss
- Osteoporosis (bone loss)
- PMS complaints (premenstrual syndrome)
- Dental problems, such as brittle teeth, tooth decay and irritated gums
A few more useful things to remember!
- There can also be an excessive intake of calcium, although that happens much less quickly. This mainly happens in people who get a lot of calcium through a supplement or, for example, in people who consume an extreme amount of dairy. Too high a calcium intake (hypercalcaemia) causes, among other things, poor kidney function, kidney stones, tissue calcification, constipation and disturbed absorption of other minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
- Vitamin D and exercise stimulate the absorption of calcium
- Oxalic acid (found in rhubarb and spinach) and phytic acid (mainly in grains) can counteract the absorption of calcium, but as long as you eat a varied diet and ensure that you get enough calcium, eating these products will not cause any problems.
- Due to salt, alcohol, caffeine, tea and cola, the body loses extra calcium through the urine
- Changes in the hormone balance make it more difficult to absorb calcium