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Importance of calcium for health

As a child, you may have winced at the thought of drinking two glasses of milk a day, but your Mum was right when she said that the calcium content would help in building stronger bones and teeth. Although our tastes and preferences may dominate what we eat as adults, it’s important to follow a balanced diet. And if you’re keen to get the best out of every Pilates or martial arts training session, then this is one must-have nutrient that should not be overlooked.

Role of Calcium in the body

Did you know that only 1% of all the calcium in our body is actually found in our blood and tissues whereas the rest is stored in our bones and teeth? In order to ensure that calcium levels in the blood are regularly restored, the body uses the reserves stored in the bones and teeth as and when required. That is why adults particularly women are advised to have at least one calcium supplement daily, so as to avoid the onset of osteoporosis.
Calcium is a very important nutrient which helps to preserve bone health, aid faster blood clotting, helps muscles and blood vessels to contract and in short, regulates every heart beat. It is also believed to be the main nutrient behind reproduction and plays a dominant role in the secretion of hormones as well.

Calcium in your diet

Ensuring that your diet gives you a healthy dose of calcium on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of fractures or bone damage in later life, could help in maintaining normal blood pressure levels, protect against cancer and even play a role in healthy weight management. The good news is that calcium is found in so many food products that are easily available at our local supermarket. Dairy products, soy products, leafy green vegetables, salmon, almonds, sardines as well as fortified juices and beverages are all good sources of calcium. On the flip side however, various factors such as high sodium content in the diet, excessive alcohol, smoking and low levels of vitamin D have been found to reduce overall calcium content in the body and affect bone density as well. That’s why taking care of your diet and staying healthy helps you lead a balanced life.
Having a nutritious calcium rich snack at least an hour before your Pilates or martial arts class, will not only keep you full for longer and help you have an intensive workout, but it’s great for your body too. The next time you’re craving a carbonated beverage, enjoy a glass of chilled milk or a smoothie with yoghurt instead. Besides avoiding empty calories, you’ll enhance your well-being too.