We have reached the end of the vitamins and hope that you have enjoyed the series so far. Now we will talk about minerals. Minerals are inorganic substances that are found in rocks and mineral ore. Obviously our bodies cannot produce inorganic substances so it is through diet and supplements that we acquire these important nutrients. Minerals are important partners to vitamins supporting all the vital functions of our bodies.
Plants get minerals from the soil and animals get minerals from plants. We get minerals from both sources. The challenge here is the depletion of our soil and the lack of vital nutrients within it. This makes it even more important to consider supplements to ensure you get the right levels of minerals to support your body.
Calcium is primarily the biggest supporter of our bones and teeth. Our bodies comprise approximately 3lb of calcium which is stored in our bones. Our bodies lose and develop bone density throughout our lives so it is essential to have a regular intake of calcium.
This mineral has been associated with controlling blood pressure. Some research even suggests that this protection even extends to pregnant women and their babies.
The EFSA recognise the benefits of calcium
- Needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth
- Needed for normal growth and development in children
- Contributes to normal blood clotting
- Contributes to normal muscle function
One of the biggest causes of calcium deficiency is people’s desire to lose weight. They stop eating dairy products because of the association with weight gain. Sadly, this can lead to deficiency of calcium.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency
- Brittle nails and bones with the potential to lead to osteoporosis
- Numbness or tingling in arms / legs
- Impaired growth
- Tooth decay
- Heart palpitations
- Joint pains
- Cramps both muscle and premenstrual
- Increased irritability
There are some studies that are suggesting that calcium may help with weight loss. The results are variable at this point, with some conflicting conclusions but watch this space… we will update you when research becomes more definitive
Best Food Sources
Milk and dairy products are the sources that everyone recognises. However, with increasing numbers of people not eating dairy products it is important to remember calcium also comes in
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli
- Kefir and yogurt
- Canned salmon and sardines.
- Brewer’s yeast
- Corn tortillas
- Fortified cereals
Who needs Calcium?
We all need calcium for healthy bones and teeth.
Lack of calcium can lead to tooth decay.
If you have elevated blood pressure calcium can contribute to balancing your levels.
Anyone who suffers from muscle tension may benefit from extra calcium.
Smokers risk limiting their bone building cells.
Eating too much salt or drinking fizzy drinks can increase calcium excretion from the body.
Calcium works in partnership with magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins D and K. You already know that vitamin D is a co-hormone; Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium and the two work in conjunction with hormone regulation.
Whenever there is a synergistic partnership between nutrients the balance needs to be correct. This is an important issue with regard to bone health.
For anyone suffering osteoporosis it is important that they take supplements containing all the vital calcium partners and include foods offering these nutrients in their diet. Calcium always works in conjunction with its partners.
How can I get enough Calcium?
Eat the healthy balanced diet we talk about constantly is the best way. Choosing a varied diet containing lots of different nutrients will always put you in a healthier place.
Exercise is really important for healthy bones so make sure you include some weight bearing exercise in your regular activity. Weight bearing exercise means activities like walking. Swimming does not help because the water supports you.
Types of Calcium Supplement
Ascorbate the most common form, this is a calcium salt of ascorbic acid.
Chelated this type of mineral is deemed to be more easily absorbed by the body.
Citrate versions of nutrients get into the blood stream more quickly be aware they are quick acting and leave the body quickly too.
D-Glucorate this form of calcium enhances liver detoxification and metabolism of hormones. NB do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding!
Pantothenate this is actually B5 which is an excellent stress reliever.
Vitamin combinations often include magnesium a vital partner to calcium. Other combinations include boron and zinc. Both boron and zinc are a further aid to bone formation and support.
Look at bone formulas they are good combinations of calcium partners. Current formulas often include vitamins D and K as well as magnesium.
Sadly, we will repeat this statement throughout this series of blogs. The nutrients in our modern diet do not compare to those of our ancestors. In previous times, our ancestors ate approximately 20 times more nutrients than we do today.
The ancestral diet was comprised berries, fruits and other vegetables. Today, we eat processed ready meals that lack the nutrient content our bodies need. In addition, the intensive farming of our land means that nutrients are vastly depleted from the soil. It is going to take a long time to recover this situation. The processing of our food removes even more nutrients.
This means we are exposed to a nutrient deficiency. We simply do not get the nutrients we need to thrive in this modern world. It is our aim for our customers that they do not just survive but achieve optimal health. In our opinion, it is extremely difficult to achieve this without the help of supplements.