The Truth About Dairy and CalciumA nutritionist chimes in

When it comes to women’s health, there’s one nutrient that hardly gets the spotlight. Unlike the ever-popular protein, magnesium, and fiber, this superstar mineral hardly gets the attention it deserves. Enter: soccer. But in our quest for feminine vitality and strength, football cannot be ignored. From supporting bone health to aiding muscle function, as well as playing a crucial role in hormonal balance, calcium is vital. With that in mind, do you need to gulp down gallons of milk? Fortunately no. Calcium-rich foods run the gamut, and there’s no better time to look than the milk carton. Today we share all the details. Let’s give your bones a boost with these calcium-rich alternatives.

Featured image of Michelle Nash.

Cow’s milk for football: fact or fiction?

“Do you have milk?”a phrase that takes most of us back to the early ’90s, when a milk mustache was a badge of honor. But beyond the catchy tagline and celebrity endorsements, do these ads hold any truth to them? Is dairy really the best way to get your daily dose of calcium? Spoiler alert: Cow’s milk isn’t your only option.

Without further ado, we are solving the football conundrum. Get ready to discover a world of nutritious, calcium-rich foods. And if you thought football was only important for kids, think again! His especially important as we get older.

Image by Michelle Nash

Why do we need football?

Calcium is a vital mineral. And while it’s critical to overall health, it also works in tandem with other nutrients (think: vitamin D) to optimize its absorption. This is similar to how iron and vitamin C work together. Ultimately without calcium, we quickly lose homeostasis. To set the stage, below are the main reasons why we need calcium and what it does:

1. Builds strong bones and teeth

Calcium is a fundamental building block for our skeletal system. It plays a crucial role in the formation, growth and maintenance of bones. Adequate calcium intake is essential throughout life to support healthy bone density, prevent bone loss, and reduce the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis and fractures. Plus, calcium contributes to strong teeth! Hello, dental health and caries minimization.

2. Supports muscle function

Like magnesium, calcium is also involved in muscle contraction and relaxation. When a nerve signal causes a muscle to contract, calcium ions are released, allowing the muscle fibers to contract and generate movement. Sufficient levels of calcium ensure proper muscle function (including muscle tone).

3. Plays a vital role in nerve transmission

Without calcium, our nerve cells would lack communication. It helps transmit nerve impulses throughout the body, enabling signals to be sent between the brain, spinal cord, and various organs. This facilitates everything from sensory perception to motor control and more.

4. Essential for blood clotting

Did you know that calcium helps prevent excessive bleeding? When a blood vessel is damaged, calcium aids in the formation of blood clots, sealing the damaged area and initiating the healing process.

5. Helps regulate hormones

If you’re trying to balance your hormones, make sure your calcium levels are normal. After all, this mineral helps regulate various hormones and enzymes within the body.

6. Aids in cellular function

Last but not least, calcium plays a role in cell signaling (think: cell division, cell growth, DNA synthesis, etc.). In other words, it makes sure that the cells are communicating properly.

Image by Teal Thomsen

How much calcium do women need?

Unfortunately, studies show that many Americans don’t get enough calcium, especially older women. Both men and women, between the ages of 19 and 50, should aim for 1,000 mg of calcium per day. If you’re over 51, talk to your doctor about an appropriate dosage (you’ll likely need at least 1,200 mg of calcium).

But while you get Enough football is important, we also don’t want to too. Excess calcium can have consequences: constipation, kidney stones, kidney failure, heart function problems and cognitive problems. When it comes to choosing the best calcium supplement, work with your doctor to find the right dosage.

Signs of calcium deficiency

Interestingly, early-stage calcium deficiency may not cause any noticeable symptoms. That said, over time, symptoms will develop. Calcium deficiency disorders (osteoporosis, osteopenia, and hypocalcemia) can come in many forms. For example, memory loss, muscle spasms, tingling hands and feet, hallucinations, weak and brittle nails, easy bone fracture, and more.

Image by Belathe Photography

When does calcium start to decline?

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but most of us reach peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 30. As we reach 40, we slowly begin to lose bone mass. In the grand scheme of things, it’s early! Therefore, maintaining an adequate intake of calcium-rich foods is crucial. But are there other factors that contribute to the drop in calcium levels? YES.

  1. Aging. As we age, bone remodeling slows down and bone density may gradually decrease. This can lead to conditions such as osteopenia and osteoporosis, making older adults more susceptible to fractures and bone-related problems.
  2. Inadequate calcium intake. If you’re not eating enough calcium-rich foods, the body can compensate by drawing calcium from the bones to maintain adequate blood calcium levels. Over time, this can contribute to a decrease in bone density.
  3. Menopause. During menopause, hormonal changes (in particular, a drop in estrogen levels) can accelerate bone loss. Estrogens help protect bones by inhibiting bone breakdown, and their reduction during menopause can lead to increased bone turnover and calcium loss.
  4. Vitamin D deficiency. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D! It works together with calcium for optimal use. In other words, vitamin D deficiency can impair calcium absorption.
Image by Michelle Nash

Football and your period

If you’re a menstruating woman, listen up. Calcium and your cycle are closely interconnected. While football itself is not directly affect the start or length of your period, hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can have an impact on calcium levels in the body.

For example, during the follicular phase (before ovulation), estrogen levels rise, which can increase calcium absorption. Conversely, during the luteal phase (after ovulation), progesterone levels rise, which can inhibit calcium absorption. The takeaway? Increase your calcium intake in the second half of your cycle. Oh, and if you want relief from PMS and period cramps, make sure your calcium levels are optimal.

Image of Suruchi Avasthi

10 foods rich in calcium

Whether you’re looking to support your hormones, heal after a bone injury, or simply boost your calcium stores, welcome to it. And as mentioned, there’s no need to down gallons of milk. Calcium is naturally present in many ingredients, including seeds, dark green leafy vegetables and seafood. The following foods have the highest levels of calcium.

Cabbage greens. An 8-ounce serving contains 360 mg of calcium. Enjoy them cooked in ghee or coconut oil as a healthy side dish.

cabbage. An 8-ounce serving of fresh (or frozen) kale boasts 180 mg of calcium. Add kale to your favorite smoothie or massage it with extra virgin olive oil to make it smooth and palatable. Coleslaws can be delicious, trust us.

Soya beans. One cup of soybeans contains 175 mg of calcium. Toss them in your favorite stir-fry or eat them steamed with sea salt and sesame oil. Opt for non-GMO soy whenever possible.

Figs. Two dried figs contain 65 mg of calcium. They’re an energizing, grab-and-go snack for busy days.

Sardines scanned with bones. One 3 oz contains 325 mg of calcium. An abundant source of calcium, try sardines on toast or toss them in your favorite pasta dish.

Ricotta. A 4-ounce serving of cottage cheese contains 335 mg of calcium. Ricotta is delicious in baked goods or use it to bulk up a tray of lasagna.

Plain yogurt. A 6-ounce serving of plain yogurt boasts 310 mg of calcium. In addition to a convenient breakfast, substitute sour cream for the yogurt in your favorite dips, dips and muffins (it’ll keep them moist!).

Poppy seeds. One tablespoon (9 grams) of poppy seeds contains 126 mg of calcium. It’s lemon poppy seed season anything.

White beans. One cup of white beans contains about 180 mg of calcium. Try this feta salad with white beans and lemon dressing.

Chia seeds. One ounce of chia seeds contains 179 mg of calcium. For an added dose of calcium, fiber, and healthy fats, sprinkle them over bowls of Greek yogurt, use them as a base for chia pudding, or add a teaspoon to your favorite smoothie.

Image of Suruchi Avasthi

Lifestyle habits to improve calcium density

Along with a balanced diet, some lifestyle habits can Also significantly improve calcium density. For example, regular physical activity works wonders, especially weight-bearing exercises (jogging, weight lifting, etc.) because it stimulates bone formation. Furthermore, exposure to sunlight is important because it favors the production of vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption. Whenever possible, get quality rest and avoid excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.

#Truth #Dairy #CalciumA #nutritionist #chimes
Image Source :

Leave a Comment