If our body lacks calcium, it “takes” it from our bones.
Dr. Maya Roseman stresses the significance of maintaining constant calcium levels in our blood, as it is critical for muscle relaxation and nerve function, as well as bone strength.
Firstly, before considering supplements, it’s important to assess your diet. Dr. Roseman provides valuable insights to consider:
“In a healthy condition, the levels of calcium in the blood are not necessarily related to how much calcium you consume,” explains Roseman. “The body will regulate blood calcium levels to ensure proper muscle function and nervous system activity. Abnormal calcium levels usually indicate medical problems rather than a calcium deficiency in the diet.”
So, should you take calcium supplements?
The first step is to examine your diet. If you’re unsure about meeting your calcium needs, Roseman offers clear guidelines:
- A slice of yellow cheese contains approximately 250 mg of calcium.
- 100 grams of cottage cheese provides about 600 mg of calcium.
- An average yogurt contains around 260 mg of calcium.
- 100 grams of tofu contains approximately 270 mg of calcium.
It’s also worth noting that green vegetables, tahini, almonds, and various other foods contain calcium.
While there is a slight increase in recommended calcium intake after the age of 50 (1200 mg instead of 1000 mg per day), Roseman emphasizes the importance of assessing your diet to identify any deficiencies.
Regarding calcium supplements, Roseman cautions against excessive intake: “Some studies have shown that taking calcium supplements above 1,000 mg may be harmful and increase the risk of heart disease. It is possible that supplements disrupt the balance of calcium in the blood, causing calcification and hardening.” She advises focusing on a balanced diet and, if necessary, considering calcium supplements of up to 600 mg to supplement dietary intake.
By paying attention to calcium-rich foods and adopting a balanced diet, you can ensure you meet your calcium needs without resorting to excessive supplements.