Calcium makes 2% of total body mass of an adult. This makes it one of the most vital elements in our bodies, which keeps us healthy throughout our lifetime. In early childhood, it helps the development of our bones and teeth. During adolescence years, again, calcium supports our growth. As we get older, calcium plays a major role in preventing osteoporosis. Apart from bones, this mineral brings other health benefits as well, some of which include weight management and cancer prevention. Here is why you should drink your cup of milk every day.
1. Skin Growth and Regeneration
Calcium is instrumental for the regeneration of the skin. Most of it is deposited in epidermis, the outermost layer, where it regulates how fast the skin sheds dead skin cells and replaces them with new ones. Calcium deficiency is easily noticeable on the skin, which becomes thin and dry.
2. Cancer Prevention
According to recent researches, calcium also stimulates the creation of antioxidants in the skin. These antioxidants mitigate the harmful effects UV rays have on the skin and allow you to tan without risking skin cancer. A healthy calcium-rich diet may also ward off ovarian and breast cancer in women. Calcium also suppresses the growth of polyps that can lead to colon cancer. After your body absorbs all the calcium it needs, any excess goes to your intestines, where it binds with cancer promoters. As you excrete unabsorbed calcium, you excrete these promoters from your body as well. However, calcium overdose increases the risk of prostate cancer, so make sure you maintain a steady level of calcium intake.
As mentioned above, people with insufficient calcium levels tend to have dry skin. This is because lack of calcium causes the skin to produce less sebum, which creates a moisture-retaining coating on the skin. Chronic dry skin can develop into more serious skin conditions, such as eczema. You can avoid this with a calcium-rich diet which should contain 1,000 mg of calcium per day if you are younger than 50, and 1,200 mg if you are 50 or older.
4. Keep Slim and Trim
Over the past few years, calcium’s slimming effects have been gaining attention. It turns out that this mineral can actually affect how fat is broken down and stored in your body. Calcium promotes fat-burning. As studies show, people who took 1,300 to 1,400 mg of calcium every day had less body fat after 18 months. They got their daily dosage from dairy products. However, other sources, like broccoli and fortified orange juice and cereals, can do the trick as well. So, if you are on a weight losing diet, stick to three servings of dairy a day, and reduce the number of calories you take in from other non-dairy foods.
5. Fight off PMS
Next time you experience the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, eat some cheese or have a glass of yogurt. Researchers are not certain why and how calcium helps, but they have noticed that women with PMS have lower calcium levels. Calcium deficiency might be responsible for the production of hormones that cause these symptoms. For this reason, endocrinologists recommend a daily dose of 1000 mg of calcium and up to 2000 units of vitamin D, which improves the absorption of calcium, in order to fight off dizziness, mood swings, hypertension, irritability, and depression. Taking organic calcium supplements may help you replenish calcium levels, and improve your looks.
Do you think you take enough calcium through your diet or are you considering including supplements?
About the author
Amy Mia Goldsmith is a biology graduate from Melbourne and a personal trainer. She has a a degree in nutrition and her goal is to teach people to live a healthy, happy life. You can contact Amy on her Facebook page and Twitter.