Milk and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, butter, and cream are rich sources of calcium and Vitamin D that are essential to our body. We benefit not only from the calcium but also from protein that is abundantly present in these foods. Why do we need this mineral in our diet?
- To prevent the onset of juvenile osteoarthritis and dental problems
When the body is deficient in calcium, bones become brittle and spongy, making it easy to break and susceptible to osteoporosis and other serious bone-related diseases. The child whose diet is deficient in this mineral may not reach his full height when he grows up and may suffer other serious medical conditions later. Therefore, children need to have milk and dairy products to achieve their normal growth potential.
- To prevent excessive weight gain
Obesity is a weight problem indicative of Calcium deficiency. Calcium helps break down fats and balances the release of parathyroid hormones. Along with heredity, mineral imbalance increases the propensity to gain excessive weight.
- Helps prevent colon cancer
Studies show that undigested Calcium is flushed out of the body through the large intestines and by binding with the free radicals present in the colon, our system gets rid of these easily. The mineral inhibits the growth of pre-cancerous polyps in the walls of the large intestines.
- Helps prevent heart attack
Calcium promotes the normal contraction of the heart muscles. Deficiency of this mineral may result to abnormal increase of blood pressure when the heart’s smooth muscles contract suddenly.
- Helps in normal cell division
Studies revealed that Calcium regulates normal cell growth particularly the process of cell division. Right from the start of human development, the mineral plays a significant role. For this reason, pregnant women are advised to increase their Calcium intake by taking Calcium supplement or have milk and dairy products in their diet.
Calcium is an essential mineral that we all need to develop strong bones and teeth. An 8-year-old child needs about 1000mg of Calcium daily while a pregnant and lactating mother needs about 1,300 mg.
Calcium deficiency and the body’s ability to absorb lactose in milk and dairy products vary from person to person. Some people cannot digest milk at the first try but are able to tolerate it on their next glass. Some people develop lactose intolerance later in life and some not at all. Therefore, it is imperative that we should not forget Calcium in our diet. Find the best milk and dairy products on the market and take supplements to correct the deficiency.