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For anyone suffering from a calcium deficiency, there are two things you can do change things – change your diet and/or take calcium supplements.
As we get older, our dietary needs change. Age contributes to decreased bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. From the age of fifty onwards is when doctors recommend we increase our intake of calcium.
However, research has shown that concentrating on calcium levels in our body while we are young adults helps us in the long term later on in life. This is easily done. Either pay attention to the levels of calcium you are consuming through dairy, fish and leafy vegetables or start taking calcium supplements.
On average, an adult in the UK is currently consuming far less than is what is recommended. While the level we should be aiming at is around 1000mg of calcium a day, the average is more like 500-600mg in our diets.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests the following recommended daily allowance of calcium:
Infants 1000mg a day
Children and teenagers 1500mg a day
Adults 1000mg a day
Pregnant and breast feeding women 1500mg a day
Post-menopausal women 1500mg a day
People over the age of 50 1500mg a day
Because our bodies are only able to absorb between 500–600 mg of calcium at a time, it is important to have calcium divided up throughout the day. Concentrate on three calcium-rich meals a day, or three lots of supplements a day.
Calcium rich foods include, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, oily fish like sardines and mackerel, collard greens, kale, broccoli and figs. Vegan or lactose tolerant individuals will have to eat more vegetables, beans and fruit to make up for the calcium-richness found in dairy products. Or they could also benefit from taking calcium supplements.
Calcium is absorbed better by the body if taken with magnesium and/or vitamin D. This allows for better absorption and better processing in the digestive system.