What is Calcium and How Does it Affect Us?
A calcium-rich diet (including dairy, nuts, leafy greens and fish) helps to build and protect your bones.
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat. About 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth.
Every day, we lose calcium through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and
faeces. Our bodies cannot produce its own calcium. That’s why it’s important to get enough calcium from the food we eat. When we don’t get the calcium our body needs, it is taken from our bones. This is fine once in a while, but if it happens too often, bones get weak and easier to break.
How much calcium do you need?
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends 600 milligrams of calcium per day for their children between the ages of 1 to 9 years.
The recommendation increases to 800 mg per day for children after 10 years and remains the same for adolescents until the age of 17 years. Children need more calcium than adults for growing bones. A normal adult male and female requires 600 mg / day.
Pregnant and lactating mothers increase the calcium RDA to 1200 mg / d to meet the growing needs of the baby in the womb and to compensate for the calcium secreted in breast milk.