Calcium is a nutrient that all living organisms need, including humans. It is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it is vital for bone health.
Getting enough calcium is a good idea, since women are far more likely than men to develop osteoporosis — a condition of weak and fragile bones that makes you prone to fractures.
It’s important to protect your bone strength and guard against fractures as you age, but taking a supplement isn’t the best way to do that, says an expert.
Women already have lesser bone tissue than men to begin with, but this reduction in absorption of calcium only gets more accelerated, as we approach menopause due to the dramatic change in estrogen levels. What’s more, those women who have hormonal issues such as thyroid might find themselves even more susceptible to bone issues.
While taking calcium supplements may produce unwanted side effects, meeting your calcium needs through your diet is safe. “Most people can get adequate calcium through their diet if they make an effort.”
Women ages 19 to 50 should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, and the target for women over 50 is 1,200 milligrams per day.
Good dietary sources of calcium include:
- Low-fat dairy such as milk and yogurt.
- Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach.
- Seeds mix.
- Fish, especially salmon.
So, up your intake of these foods to keep your bones healthy. At the same time, remember to get more vitamin D from the sun and also from your diet, because calcium can’t be digested as efficiently by your body without the help of the sunshine vitamin.