Calcium is one of the body's most vital nutrients and plays a key role in bone and tooth health, blood clotting, blood pressure and nerve transmission, among other bodily functions. This vitamin is particularly pivotal as we undergo growth phases as well as during pregnancy or lactation. Yet during certain periods of our lives or due to various diet and lifestyle factors, our body's ability to absorb calcium may drop. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to improve calcium absorption so you can reap the benefits of this essential element.
Things You'll Need
- Vitamin D
- Calcium supplements
Take in Vitamin D regularly via a daily supplement, by getting at least 15 minutes of sun exposure per day or drinking Vitamin D-fortified milk; each has been shown to improve calcium absorption. You should also consume 350 mg of magnesium and at least 40 g of protein per day for maximum calcium absorption. Meanwhile, try not to consume more than one daily serving of foods that include oxalates or phytates, such as spinach or unleavened whole wheat items, as these can reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium.
Cut back on your daily consumption of coffee, sugar, alcohol and other diuretics, since all of these can lower the body's rate of calcium absorption. Lifestyle factors such as stress and lack of exercise can further reduce calcium absorption and even lead to loss of calcium, giving you even more incentive to hit the gym or the jogging trail.
Consume up to 1,000 mg in calcium supplements each day to raise your body's chances of absorbing calcium. According to a study published on the Natural Ways website, people are best able to absorb calcium when taken in 500 mg doses, so try to take these doses at different times throughout the day. Take any calcium supplements along with food for the maximal amount of calcium absorption.
Get your daily recommended intake of calcium-rich foods to further improve your calcium absorption, such as milk, orange juice, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, green beans, almonds and salmon.
Tips & Warnings
- If you experience gas, bloating or indigestion while taking calcium supplements, try taking smaller doses of calcium at separate times during the day or taking the supplement with meals and snacks. Sometimes changing the brand of supplement can also help.
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