Health Functions of Calcium Unknown to Most People


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Calcium plays an important role in building healthy teeth and bones. What many people do not know is that calcium is vital to every cell of the body for muscle function, nerve transmission, blood clotting and many other uses. Calcium is indeed a very important nutrient to have in our diet.

Calcium is a mineral that the body needs for numerous functions, including building and maintaining bones and teeth, blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and the regulation of the heart's rhythm. Calcium has the potential to relieve depression and anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome. It can also control high blood pressure, and ward off strokes.

When you do not get enough calcium in your diet, the calcium stored in your bones will be used to supply the cells of your body with calcium. Hence, your bones suffer the consequences of a low-calcium diet and they become more susceptible to fractures.

Calcium plays a key role in metabolic disorders linked to obesity and insulin resistance. A diet low in calcium literally stockpiles fat cells while a duet rich in calcium depletes them. Taking sufficient calcium prevents weight gain. A high calcium diet leads to the release of a hormone which sends signals to the body's fat cells to lose weight.

A lack of calcium is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. Often, people are encouraged to drink milk to build up their calcium stores to prevent osteoporosis. However, taking milk as a calcium source has been vastly over-rated. Studies have revealed the amount of calcium absorbed from plant sources is greater than that absorbed from milk.

Although American women consume tremendous amounts of calcium, their rates of osteoporosis are among the highest in the world as the calcium from dairy products are not absorbed well. Conversely, Chinese people consume half as much calcium but most of it from plant sources and have very low incidence of the bone disease.

High protein diets appear to lead to increased calcium losses. It is advisable to take a diet that consists of more vegetables. Plant sources of calcium include dried beans, broccoli, and greens like beet, collards, spinach, kale, mustard and turnip.

In order for your body to properly use fat-soluble vitamins, you need to have enough fats in your foods. Calcium too requires fats for proper absorption. If you do not have enough fat in your diet, your body will not be able to properly use calcium and other fat-soluble vitamins.

Coconut oil improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth. The fat in coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are more easily digested than the long-chain fatty acids found in other oils.

MCFAs are processed directly in the liver and immediately converted into energy. There is therefore less strain on the liver, pancreas and digestive system and, being easily digested, they also tend to improve the absorption of other nutrients like calcium.

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