What is the amount of calcium you need every day?
31-07-2018 | Posted By: Chhavi | 982 View(s)
Calcium is a well-known bone-building nutrient. It is the most abundant mineral found in the human body. It forms about 2% of the total body weight. Almost all of this 2% is located in the skeleton, and the rest is found in our blood plasma, teeth and soft body tissues and extracellular fluid. But how much calcium do we need daily? Here we are gonna tell you the amount of calcium you need every day.
What is the Role of calcium in our Body
The central role of calcium in our body is to provide structure and strength to the skeleton system. This structure is mainly consisting of calcium phosphate called hydroxyapatite crystals which are found in collagen. Calcium ions are responsible for maintaining a healthy ion exchange, and this is how a healthy balance of calcium in the blood and bone is made. Besides this, calcium is an essential regulator of bodily processes such as muscle contraction, hormone signalling, blood coagulation, and nerve impulse signalling.
Calcium is essential for our body, and therefore it must also be required in more significant quantities than any other nutrient in our body. But how much calcium is needed by our body for proper functioning every day?
What is the Amount of Calcium you Need Daily to Live a Healthy Life?
The ICMR recommendation for calcium dose for Indian adults is 1200mg. The World Health Organisation, recommends 500 mg for adults every day. But is that much required? Let us find out.
Adequate calcium is necessary for maintaining good health. It is not only essential for bones but is also a major player in keeping our organs and skeletal muscles working correctly. Our body needs a specific quantity of calcium. When this amount is not sufficient, the calcium stored in our bones is released into the bloodstream through bone remodelling. Bone remodelling is a process in which bone is broken down continuously and rebuilt.
This process leads to a decrease in the bone density; researchers recommend that we take adequate amount of calcium so that it is not drawn from the bones.
The amount of calcium required by an individual depends on their age and gender. Here is a list of Recommended Dietary Allowances of Calcium for different age groups;
• Newborn child (0-6 years )= 200 mg
• 7-12 months= 260 mg
• 1-3years= 700 mg
• 4-8 years= 1000 mg
• 9-18 years= 1300 mg
• Adults (19-50 years)= 1200 mg
• Adult men (51-70 years)= 1000 mg
• Adult women (51-70)= 1200 mg
• Pregnant/ Lactating mothers= 1000-1200 mg
This was the RDA of Calcium for different age groups. Now let us explore some of the sources of calcium available to us.
What are the Sources of Calcium?
Calcium is not made in the body; therefore, it needs to be taken from our dietary sources. You should include these foods in your daily diet. The amount of calcium you need every day will be fulfilled if you add these foods to your diet. The primary sources of calcium include;
1. Milk and other dairy products- A single serving of 240 ml consist of 246 mg calcium. Milk is the most abundant source of calcium.
2. Seeds- A tablespoon of poppy seeds have 126 mg of calcium; sesame seeds have 9 grams in one tablespoon etc.
3. Sardines and Canned Salmon- They are loaded with calcium and their bones are edible too! BONUS! Sardines have 92 gms calcium while salmon have 85 gms with bones.
4. Beans and Lentils– Beans are highly nutritious. A cup of beans (172 gms) gives 244 mg calcium, and they are also loaded with other essential nutrients.
5. Almonds- Among all the nuts, almonds are the richest in calcium. Around 22 nuts provide nearly three grammes per ounce (28 gms) of calcium. They are also rich in nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, magnesium and others.
6. Whey Protein- Whey protein, as we know, is an excellent protein source and one scoop of whey protein powder has 20% of the RDI for calcium that is 200 mg. It helps in weight loss and improves blood sugar levels.
7. Green Leafy Veggies- Greens that have a high amount of calcium include spinach, collard greens and kale. One cup of collard greens has 266 mg calcium. Spinach is also a calcium-rich food, but the presence of oxalates make it calcium unavailable to our body.
8. Amaranth- It is a highly nutritious pseudocereal of which the seeds and leaves are useful. One cup provides around 12% of the RDA for calcium.
9. Tofu- It is rich in calcium. Half a cup of tofu provides 86% of the RDA for calcium. Too much! Isn’t it?
10. Figs- Commonly known as anjeer, they are rich in antioxidants and fibre. Dried figs contain comparatively more calcium than any other dry fruit. A single ounce consists of 5% of the RDA of calcium for every day.
Bottom Line- Calcium is an essential mineral that we may or may not be getting enough of. Dairy products tend to pack the most of this nutrient, but there are specific non-dairy products too, that are useful in meeting everyday demands of calcium in our body. We can quickly meet the daily calcium needs by eating from the above-mentioned list of calcium-rich foods.
As far as the fact of what amount of calcium you need every day is concerned, we never really care about it. You must meet the daily requirements by drinking two glasses of milk and consuming ample amount of green leafy vegetables and a few dried fruits in a day. This shall be enough. Also, you must remember, the recommended amount of calcium for most adults is 1,000 mg per day and increases to 1,200 mg per day for women over 50 and men over 70. So this is the amount of calcium you need every day to lead a healthy and fit life.
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