C is for Calcium

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Nutrition Tip Thursday

Randi Karlinsky MS, RDN, LDN, CHC

Calcium is commonly known for its role in bone health, however many are unaware of the other wonderful health benefits it provides. Calcium helps control our muscle and nerve function while also managing the pH balance in our blood. As you can see, calcium is an extremely important mineral for our body, therefore it is important to make sure you are consuming calcium-rich foods on a regular basis.

Health Benefits of Calcium:

  • Calcium supports bone health by maintaining the structural integrity of our skeleton. Vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium provide important support to promote calcium use and absorption. Because bone is a metabolically active tissue, it is important to maintain adequate calcium levels in the blood by consuming the mineral regularly. Our bones are constantly being broken down and built back up using the calcium in our blood. Therefore, low blood calcium levels force the body to pull calcium from bone weakening their structure and eventually resulting in bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

  • Manages the acid/alkaline (pH) balance of the blood with the help of a complex of hormonal interactions. When the pH of our blood drops too low, meaning it becomes too acidic, calcium is released from the bones to bring levels back to normal. This process is critical to sustaining life due to controlling processes such as breathing rate and the ability of our blood cells to transport oxygen.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many non-dairy foods rich in calcium. See below for sources rich in Calcium.

Excellent sources of Calcium:

  • Tofu

  • Collard Greens

  • Spinach

  • Turnip Greens

  • Mustard Greens

  • Beet Greens

  • Bok Choy

Good sources of Calcium:

  • Yogurt

  • Cinnamon

  • Sardines

  • Kale

  • Cheese

  • Cow’s Milk

  • Broccoli