|0-12 months||Male||210-270 mg/day|
|0-12 months||Female||210-270 mg/day|
|1-3 years||Male||500 mg/day|
|1-3 years||Female||500 mg/day|
|3-7 years||Male||800 mg/day|
|3-7 years||Female||800 mg/day|
|7-11 years||Male||1100 mg/day|
|7-11 years||Female||1100 mg/day|
|11-18 years||Male||1300 mg/day|
|11-18 years||Female||1300 mg/day|
|18 – 49 years||Male||1000 mg/day|
|18 – 49 years||Female||1000 mg/day|
|49 -59 years||Male||1200 mg/day|
|49 -59 years||Female||1200 mg/day|
|59 years and over||Male||1200 mg/day|
|59 years and over||Female||1200 mg/day|
Calcium is a mineral which is very important for all living organisms. It is one of the most abundant minerals in the body where bones and teeth contain over 99% of it. The remaining calcium is contained in the nerve cells and various body tissues and fluids.
Calcium is essential for the growth, reproduction, and maintenance of the body. It helps with forming and sustaining strong bones and teeth, secretion of enzymes and hormones, blood clotting, muscle relaxation and contraction, normal heartbeat, and nerve signaling.
A deficiency in this mineral leads to calcium deficiency and osteoporosis, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, numbness in toes and fingers, hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, loss of jaw bone, convulsions, and even lethargy.
Thus, everybody should maintain a healthy calcium level in the body.
As a rule, increased calcium intake for a short period does not cause any side effects. But if you consume too much calcium for a long time, you can have vascular diseases, calcification of soft tissues, and kidney stones.
Dairy products and dark leafy greens are the most calcium rich foods.
Some researchers state that greens contain oxalates hindering absorption of calcium but anyway they are great sources of this mineral.
In milk, buttermilk, cheeses, yogurt and other dairy foods calcium is in its very easily absorbed form which make them the most essential source. But remember that fat content of milk does not contain calcium so you should better select skim or low-fat products. Yogurt, buttermilk and cheeses will be even better choices for adults.
If you do not eat dairy, you can get calcium from sardines and salmon canned with bones, Brazil nuts, almonds, and dried beans. You can also find special calcium-enriched juices and breads.
Many grocery stores sell lactose-free milk for people with lactose intolerance. If you have an allergy to milk, you should give preference to some other sources of calcium or take special supplements.
Below you will find the list explaining how much calcium is contained in various foods:
2 ounces of cheese – about 500 mg
1 glass of whole milk – about 300 mg
2 ounces of canned sardines – about 250 mg
6 ounces of plain yogurt – about 300 mg
3 ounces of almond – about 200 mg
5 ounces of turnip – about 200 mg
You should also remember that vitamin D promotes absorbing calcium. Thus, if you are going to take a calcium supplement, prefer ones that contain it too.