IMPROVE THE WAY YOU COOK
Calcium is an essential ingredient for the good health of the bones and teeth, as well as, the proper function of our muscles, heart and immune system. Insufficient calcium intake during childhood prevents the creation of a robust frame and increases the probability of osteopenia and later, during adulthood, osteoporosis. Osteoporosis’s symptoms are joint pains and fragile nails.
Recommended daily dose
Age Calcium (mg)
Infants and children under 10 500-700
Children and teens, ages 10 to 18 1300
Adults from 19 to 65 years old 1000
Women during menopause 1300
Adults 65+ years old 1300
As we all know, the best sources of calcium are dairy products, in first place being the category of cheese, especially yellow cheeses: graviera, kefalograviera, kefalotyri, parmesan and Emmental. However, other cheeses also provide a significant amount of calcium (i.e. feta cheese, anthotyro, mizithra), as do other dairy products, such as yogurt and milk. Calcium sources outside the dairy family include sesame, tahini, fish, such as sardenes and vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.
For maximum absorption of calcium from the body
It is important to know that:
- In order for our gut to absorb calcium and be deposited in our bones, a synergy with Vitamin D must occur.
- There are substances that interfere with calcium absorption, such as phytic acid, oxalic acid and tannins. Also, the high intake of protein, salt, caffeine and alcohol, as well as smoking, are restraining factors when it comes to the absorprtion and the bone deposition of calcium.
- Calcium is best absorbed by the body during the night, so it is advisable to make sure to get a serving of dairy (yogurt) or one dose of supplements before we sleep. In order to achieve greater absorption of calcium.
When calcium intake from food sources is not enough
There are many cases where it is deemed necessary to take calcium supplements. When the patient does not receive enough calcium from their diet (for example, because they are not used to or do not like dairy products), when they have osteopenia and when the gut does not absorb calcium from food (for example, due to age – usually exhibited in individuals over 70).