Calcium And Bone, Teeth, Nerve, and Muscle Health
Bones | Calcium | Vitamin D
Calcium is needed to grow bones and teeth, and to maintain their density and to keep them strong. General recommended minimum daily allowances of calcium are:
- Adolescent males and females: 1300mg daily
- Adult males and females: 1000mg daily
- Women between 51 -70 years: 1200mg daily
- Men and women 71+ years: 1200mg daily
- Pregnant and lactating women between 14-18 years: 1300mg
Adequate amounts of vitamin D is needed by the body in order to maximize the absorption of the calcium into the bloodstream. Calcium is absorbed two ways. It is absorbed passively through the intestinal wall by diffusing through the spaces between cells. It is also absorbed actively through intestinal cells by binding to a transport protein known as calbindin, which is dependent on vitamin D.
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D has been in flux as new evidence supports that vitamin D is involved in more bodily functions than previously thought. You can find daily recommended allowances of 400 IUs and 600 IUs, but new evidence of vitamin D’s increased role in cell functioning has many scientists supporting recommended daily allowances of 2000 IUs of vitamin D daily.
Proper levels of calcium in the blood is essential for proper electrical conductivity in the nerves. Calcium is in charge of the gated channels that release potassium and sodium to facilitate nerve impulses. Nerve impulses trigger muscle contractions and movement by a process called the “sliding filament model” which is dependent on calcium in the muscle cells.
Many people think that we must drink cows milk to get our recommended daily allowance of calcium. This is not true. We are the only species that drinks or is dependent on another species milk to get its needed calcium. The body absorbs calcium from plant foods like figs and amaranth greens better than milk and other dairy products.
Around 30% of calcium from dairy is absorbed by the body, and 45 -60% of calcium is absorbed by the body from plant based foods. We are able to get our recommended daily allowance of calcium from vegetable sources:
|Sesame seeds||1oz (28g)||273mg|
|Amaranth greens (cooked)||1 cup||276mg|
|Turnip Greens (cooked)||1 cup||249mg|
|Brazil Nuts||1 cup||213mg|
|Kale (cooked)||1 cup||179mg|
|Okra (cooked)||1 cup||177mg|
|Dandelion greens (cooked)||1 cup||147mg|
|Purslane greens (cooked)||1 cup||90mg|
|Garbanzo beans||1 cup||80mg|