You Either Want Pretty Bones Or You Don’t!

What woman hasn’t heard about how important calcium is to her diet?  We’ve all heard about how calcium is beneficial for us now in preparation for our later years, but what’s all the hype?  And how do we get enough calcium?  How do we ensure that what we do now will benefit us later in life?

Forever 21

Let’s talk about the importance of calcium first.  It turns out that calcium is the most prevalent mineral in your body, far more than any other one.  It’s not too hard to imagine why, considering calcium is deposited in your teeth and bones.  But your body doesn’t just use calcium for your skeleton—calcium is also used for the blood, muscles, and nerves.

Got Pretty Bones?

So what happens when you don’t get enough?  We’ve heard about the dangers of osteoporosis, but what about in the here and now?  If you don’t get enough, you are more susceptible to broken bones, as well as muscle and abdominal cramping.  It can even lead to cavities.  Again, it’s because calcium is a crucial mineral in your diet.  That said, however, it is possible to get too much of a good thing.

What if you get too much calcium?  According to Science Daily, too much calcium can lead to kidney problems and high blood pressure due to the “milk-alkali or calcium-alkali syndrome” caused by ingesting too much of this mineral.  Dr. Andrew Weil advises that people take no more than 1200 milligrams (mg) per day, stating that too much can lead to symptoms such as “constipation, dry mouth, a continuing headache, increased thirst, irritability, loss of appetite, depression,” and more.  Dr. Weil encourages people to get their calcium through their diet rather than supplementation.

But, I don’t like milk.

You might be thinking you want to up your intake of milk and cheese then, right?  Not so fast.  According to Harvard School of Public Health, ingesting too much dairy increases cancer risk.  There are other food sources that can provide adequate amounts of calcium without the added worry of cancer.  Greens are one of the best non-dairy sources for calcium.  For example, one cup of spinach gives you 244 mg, collard greens, 266 mg.  You can even get 117 mg from two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses.  There are lots of non-dairy sources that will provide you with calcium, from garlic to cinnamon, celery to oranges.

If you’d rather not chance it, most supplements provide a little calcium to make up for what you might be missing in your diet.  If you’d rather take a supplement, Nature Made’s Multi for Her has 25% of your daily needs.  One bottle has 90 tablets and can be found at most food and drug stores for around $5.  If you’d prefer a vegetarian vitamin tablet, Deva Multivitamin and Mineral supplement also contains 10% of your daily needs; you can purchase 90 tablets from Deva for less than $11, and you can find it online.

Calcium keeps you strong, not just in your bones, but in your muscles and blood.  Keep yourself healthy and strong, not just for the future but for now and make sure calcium is part of your inner beauty regimen. You either want pretty bones or you don’t!