Calcium for women is essential through every phase of life. It is needed to help build strong bones and teeth, and it also helps to regulate heart beat, clot blood and conduct nerve impulses. As one ages, calcium plays an important role in fighting osteoporosis (a disease that can cause bone density to decrease).
How Much Calcium does a Woman Need?
The amount of calcium that women need depends on their age. A 1,000 mg. of calcium per day may be sufficient before middle age and before menopause. As a woman becomes older, and once menopause occurs, she should increase this amount to 1,500 mg. per day.
How Can a Woman Acquire the Calcium She Needs?
There are many foods that women can eat that are calcium enriched. These foods include dairy products such as:
- Ice cream
Calcium is also found in dark leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.
Can Supplements Supply Calcium Requirements?
Calcium supplements are a great way to assure that a woman gets the adequate amount of daily calcium. When choosing a supplement, one should consider such things as name brands, the total calcium amount in each supplement and whether the supplement could cause stomach distress.
Some women will choose calcium supplements that also contain Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known to help protect bones. This vitamin is found naturally in all dairy products.
Calcium Needs for Lactating Women
It is essential that lactating women make sure that they are getting an adequate amount of daily calcium. Most health care professionals will tell you this amount is 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg. a day. This calcium can come from the foods that a breastfeeding mother eats, a calcium supplement, or a combination of the two.
It is essential that a woman makes sure that she gets an adequate supply of calcium while lactating since breastfeeding causes a temporary loss of calcium to her bones. Once the baby has been weaning, her calcium level will return to normal.
Important Facts about Calcium
Some extra facts you may want to consider when taking calcium for your health are:
- The time you take your calcium. It is best to take your calcium throughout the day. If you are taking calcium mainly in supplement form, consider splitting your dosage up into a morning serving and a nightly serving. The nightly dose is the most important serving. Bone loss is known to occur at a higher rate at night.
- Your bones don't care what form of calcium you take. The supplement form works, as well as ingesting the calcium in the way of foods and drinks.
- If you are taking such medicines as Fosamax or Actonel, you should not take calcium that morning. The calcium will interfere with its absorption.
- Calcium rarely causes constipation and bloating. If you become constipated, try increasing your liquid consumption (water and juices). If you become bloated, consider switching your calcium brand or trying a lower dosage.
Calcium is an extremely important nutrient, so cater to your bones and enjoy a daily dosage of dairy.