You may have been told that you need to start taking a calcium supplement or eat more calcium-rich foods to keep your bones strong. Or, maybe you’ve been experiencing some symptoms of calcium deficiency, such as muscle cramps or bone pain.
Either way, it’s important to know how to increase dietary calcium absorption so that your body can get the most out of this essential nutrient.
You can do a few things to help your body absorb calcium. Taking a supplement, eating enough calcium-rich foods and getting vitamin D can give your body the boost it needs to absorb this important nutrient.
Dairy foods have a lot of great health benefits, and it’s just one of the ways you can increase your calcium levels and give your body the boost it needs.
Ways to Improve Your Calcium Absorption
Calcium is essential, and as you get older, it can become more difficult for you to absorb – which is why you need to increase the amount in your diet. If you want to improve your body’s calcium absorption, there are a few things you can do to give your system a boost.
One of the best ways to improve inadequate calcium intake is to take a supplement. This will help you ensure that you’re getting enough of the nutrient, and it can also help offset any dietary deficiencies.
Several calcium compounds are available in supplement form, but the most popular and effective is calcium citrate. This compound is easy for your body to absorb, and it’s also non-constipating.
Another great option is calcium carbonate, which is the most common form of calcium found in supplements. It’s also very effective but can cause constipation in some people. If you’re worried about this side effect, you can take calcium citrate instead.
Expert Tip: If you’re going to take supplements, be sure to take it with food. This will help your body to better absorb the nutrients.
Milk and Dairy
Another way to improve dietary calcium absorption is to eat foods that are high in this nutrient. Milk and dairy products are some of the best sources of dietary calcium.
Drinking whole-fat milk tends to be better for you in general, but you will still get loads of calcium from skim and semi-skim milk if those are what you prefer. Similarly, all types of cheese have a great calcium boost in them (cheddar, mozzarella, etc.).
Expert Tip: If you don’t like milk or you have lactose intolerance, plenty of other options exist. You can find calcium-fortified juices, cereals, and even tofu – all of which can help you improve dietary calcium absorption.
Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, so it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough of this vitamin.
You can get vitamin D from fortified foods such as milk or supplements. Exposure to sunlight is also a great way to get your vitamin D fix (just be sure to wear sunscreen, so you don’t damage your skin).
Fruits and Vegetables
There are also a number of fruits and vegetables that can help with calcium absorption. These include leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, as well as oranges and mandarins.
Expert Tip: If you’re looking for an easy way to get more calcium, try snacking on almonds. These little nuts are packed with calcium and make a great on-the-go snack.
Why Do You Need Calcium?
Calcium is an essential nutrient that helps to keep your bones and teeth strong. It also plays a role in muscle contraction, nerve function and blood clotting. A lack of calcium can lead to a number of health problems, including osteoporosis, muscle cramps and bone pain .
While you can get calcium from a number of different foods and supplements, it’s important to make sure that you’re absorbing enough of this nutrient.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Calcium?
If you’re not getting enough calcium, you may be at risk for a number of health problems. A lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle.
Calcium deficiency can also cause muscle cramps, bone pain and irregular heartbeat . If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor so that you can get the treatment you need.
Expert Tip: If you think you may be deficient in calcium, talk to your doctor. They can order a blood test to check your levels and make sure that you’re getting the nutrients you need.
How Much Calcium Should You Have?
The amount of calcium you need depends on a number of factors, including your age, sex and health status. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1,000 mg per day for adults up to age 50, and 1,200 mg per day for adults over the age of 50 .
Pregnant and lactating women need more calcium, as do people who have certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis.
Things to Avoid if You Need Calcium
There are several things that can inhibit your calcium absorption, and you should stay away from them if you are deficient in calcium and need to build your levels back up .
Excess dietary fat can interfere with calcium absorption, so it’s important to limit your intake of fatty foods if you’re trying to improve your calcium absorption (this is why skim milk is often recommended for people who need more calcium).
In addition, alcohol and caffeine can also inhibit calcium absorption, so it’s best to limit your intake of these substances as well.
Finally, some medications, such as antacids and certain diuretics, can also interfere with calcium absorption. If you’re taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your calcium absorption.
Research Results on Calcium Absorption
There is a lot to consider when making sure your diet is healthy, and balanced, and you are getting all the nutrients you need to thrive. Calcium is one of the most important minerals there is.
Building up your dietary calcium absorption is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth and preventing many health problems. By following these tips, you can ensure you’re getting the calcium you need.