Eating a balanced diet is vital for a happy and healthy life. What you eat and drink directly affects how you experience things, the way your body functions, and your mental health. For example, low vitamin and mineral intake, such as B vitamins and zinc, increase cortisol in the body. Cortisol is known to increase stress leading to anxiety and depression.
Some minerals are essential to ongoing physiological development from the time we are born to the time we die. One of those crucial minerals is calcium. Therefore, calcium is well-known as a dietary requirement. Fortunately, calcium is also very easy to include in your diet by various dairy foods and through vitamin D production provided by sunlight.
Strong Teeth and Bones
The best-known benefit of calcium is that it helps to maintain healthy teeth and bones. It is recommended that you intake 700mg – 1000mg of calcium per day. This is quickly done by consuming dairy products like milk drinks, cheese and yoghurt. Calcium regulation can also be helped by getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D can be easily absorbed by standing outside in the sunlight.
The combination of calcium intake and vitamin D regulation will contribute towards bone density, structure and dental health. In addition, it will help prevent serious problems associated with deficiency. For example, rickets, malformed bones and osteomalacia are common issues experienced by people who don’t get enough calcium.
Body to Brain Communication
The brain and the body are in constant communication with each other. This is done by the carrying of electrical messages and impulses along nerves. Nerves send a message directly to the spinal cord, where they travel to the brain for interpretation. Calcium is an essential mineral for regulating proper body-nerve-brain impulses that control muscles.
In addition, calcium is essential in brain health. Primarily, it helps your axons transmit electrical impulses so that synapses can perform proper neurotransmission. This allows the brain to form neuronal synaptic pathways for memory and response. As a result, a lack of calcium affects your brain with extreme tiredness, insomnia, confusion and memory problems.
Serious Illness Protection
Like all minerals and vitamins, calcium plays a crucial role in combating various illnesses and health issues. For example, the role of calcium in preventing bone-related diseases is well documented. Still, new research finds links in calcium adequacy and help with other serious health issues such as diabetes, cancer and blood pressure.
A common side-effect of diabetes is osteoporosis which calcium is known to prevent. But calcium also helps slow down the progression of diabetes itself as calcium and vitamin D work together to regulate glucose metabolism. Various studies have also found a modest reduction in colorectal cancer among those with a daily 1,200mg calcium intake. Research is ongoing.
Like all minerals, enough calcium can be consumed by eating a varied and balanced diet. A calcium-rich diet includes dairy products, leafy greens and fortified cereals. However, if you are concerned, then supplements are available. Before taking calcium supplements, consult a GP since too much calcium can lead to hypercalcemia, a debilitating illness with multiple physical and mental issues.