Why is Calcium so important? How does it help our body? I have heard that yogurt eaters in other countries are healthier....So lets get the real skinny on the benefits of calcium.
Lets start with why is it so important, 99 percent of the calcium in the human body is held in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent of calcium circulates in the bloodstream, where it performs a variety of important functions. It helps to contract muscles and helps regulate the contractions of the heart. Last I checked contractions of the heart is a pretty important function. But, the list continues, calcium plays a role in the transmission of nerve impulses and in blood clotting. Calcium is involved in the stimulation of contractions of the uterus during childbirth and in milk production. It also regulates the secretion of various hormones and aids in the functioning of various enzymes within the body.
We need calcium right from birth till old age. In infant days, calcium is required for proper bone and teeth growth; during adolescence as the bones develop, calcium is again essential to support the development; while as we get older our bones tend to get porous and weak thereby calling for ample calcium intake. With so many fancy diets around us, we often tend to avoid calcium rich foods whole food groups like the dairy products which results in calcium deficiency. Reports say calcium deficiency conditions are continuously rising; particularly women who are on low calorie diets to get slim often confront the trouble of osteoporosis. Thus, it is extremely important to consume enough calcium, along with vitamins and D magnesium and K2 all along your tender and adolescence years.
Like breast cancer we tend to think it is primarily women, but according to The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) estimates that eight million American women have been diagnosed with osteoporosis; however, the NOF also estimates that two million men have the condition. Women are at greater risk because they have a lower peak bone mass due to smaller stature and also because they experience a rapid postmenopausal bone loss.
The body allows absorption of only about 20% to 30% of ingested calcium. The National Academy of Sciences recommends a calcium intake of 1,000 to 1,200 mg/day for all adults and 1,300 mg for pregnant and lactating females ages 14 to 18.
So is their any truth to countries that consume daily yogurt are healthier? The product has been a staple food item in the cuisine of Asia, Russia, parts of Europe and certain Middle Eastern countries. However, it was only during the 20th century that people residing in Western Europe and Northern America became aware of the special health benefits of this exquisite dairy product. So the answer was yes in the past.