Calcium is one of the most essential minerals to consume. It helps form and maintain healthy bones and teeth, and a proper level of calcium can help prevent osteoporosis. Despite the necessity of calcium, our bodies do not produce it – which means we must all get it from outside sources. Calcium is a requirement for all humans, yet once women reach the age of nine years old, they will require more calcium than males for the rest of their lives.
Since we do not produce our own sources of calcium, our calcium intake is directly related to our diets. Diets with an inadequate amount of calcium can inhibit growth in adolescent females and can cause low bone mass in adult women. Female adolescents need 1,300 mg of calcium each day due to their changing hormones, growing bodies, and the preparation for the future demands on their bodies. Nearly half of all bone is formed between the ages of 11-15, which makes these years crucial for adequate calcium consumption. Once females reach the age of 20, it is recommended that they consume 1,000 mg of calcium each day.
The following foods need to be incorporated into every diet, especially the diets of females. These foods are rich in calcium:
- Low-fat dairy products
- Almond milk
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
- Salmon, soft-boned fish, sardines
- Calcium-fortified foods (e.g., fruit juice)
As we age, our bodies must not only keep up with the current demands, but our bodies are also suffering from continued use since birth. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bones to become brittle and break easily. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men, mostly associated with the huge hormonal changes that the female bodies undergo throughout life. From menstruation to pregnancy to menopause – a woman’s hormones undergo drastic changes that affect their entire bodies.
Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., is dedicated to the health of women. If your diet is lacking in calcium, we can help you adjust your diet. We can also recommend calcium supplements that will help to ensure that you receive adequate amounts of this necessary mineral.