You know, you’re probably not getting enough calcium in your diet, right? At least, that’s according to the National Institutes of Health. They say a substantial portion of the U.S. is not consuming enough calcium-rich foods.
Tsk. Tsk. As lovers of all topics teeth-related, we’ve got to discuss why this mineral is so beneficial to your teeth and your body, as well as a few myths you may have heard regarding this vital nutrient.
Benefits of Calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral for our bodies. It helps to strengthen our teeth and bones and helps your heart, nerves, and muscles function correctly.
According to the Mayo Clinic, children who don’t get enough calcium may not grow to their “full potential adult height.” And adults could be at risk for osteoporosis, especially those who have gone through menopause. Children, adolescents, and adults aged 50 and older are most at risk of not getting enough calcium in their diets.
For adults between the ages of 19 and 50, it’s recommended they consume 1,000 mg of calcium a day. For women over 50, it’s recommended they up their intake to 1,200 mg a day. An 8-ounce serving of whole milk contains about 300 mg.
People who follow a vegan diet or are lactose intolerant may want to consider a supplement to ensure they get the proper amount.
Foods to Fill Your Plate
Our bodies don’t naturally produce calcium on their own. So, you must eat foods containing it or talk to your doctor about taking a supplement if you’re worried your diet doesn’t have enough. Here are some foods that are rich in the mineral:
- Milk or other fortified dairy alternatives such as soy milk
- Chia seeds
Many types of grains also contain a good amount.
Myths About Calcium
Because you know how essential calcium is to your body, it has led to some myths about this vital mineral. Because of that, consider these common misconceptions before adding this supplement to your daily regime.
- More calcium equals stronger bones: Not precisely. While the mineral is extremely important to bone health, so is an overall balanced and healthy diet.
- You also should take a Vitamin D supplement: Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, but if you’re getting enough sunshine in your day or foods containing Vitamin D (such as fish, eggs, and mushrooms), you may not need to add a supplement.
- All adults should take a supplement: That’s also not true. It just depends on your diet, age, and gender. That’s right—your age and gender may determine how much of the mineral you need each day.
The big takeaway: talk to your doctor or dentist if you feel you’re not getting enough calcium.
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