5 Simple Ways to Maximize Your Body’s Calcium Absorption

You probably know that calcium is an essential mineral that helps you enjoy strong bones and teeth, and you need to include calcium-rich foods in your diet to boost bone health. But, do you know that some foods in your diet are preventing your body from absorbing calcium?

The Calcium Enemies

Caffeine, alcohol, foods rich in oxalate (like spinach), foods rich in phytate (whole grains, seeds, and nuts), foods rich in sodium and protein, and fibrous foods block your body from absorbing calcium. This is why - milk and dairy products are considered the best sources of calcium, as they don’t contain any calcium blockers.

The Calcium Allies – 5 Ways to Increase Calcium Absorption
Include plenty of Vitamin D

Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is the best friend of calcium. When your body senses calcium in your food, it sends a message to your kidneys to activate vitamin D. The vitamin D present in your body then activates the intestines, which absorb calcium from your food into the bloodstream, where it ends up in your bones.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU per day. You can get it easily by soaking up the sun’s rays (however beware of harmful UV rays that can damage your skin and lead to other complications), or by including vitamin D fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish and cheese in your diet.

Choose Toned Milk

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to drink whole milk to boost your calcium levels. Calcium content in skim or toned milk is higher than that found in full-fat milk. This is because calcium is separate from the fat in the milk. So, if you are looking to boost calcium levels, then swap your whole milk for fortified toned milk.

Eat your Fruits and Veggies

A diet full of colourful vegetables and fruits, not only provides your body with adequate minerals and nutrients but also aids in calcium absorption. Fruits and vegetables when digested produce bicarbonate, which helps to reduce calcium loss.

Get Moving

A sedentary lifestyle has a huge impact on your digestion. When your digestive system doesn’t work properly, your body expels essential nutrients from your system. To increase calcium absorption, make sure to take part in physical activities at least 3 to 5 times a week. Weight-bearing activities like running, walking, jogging and aerobics not only boost calcium absorption but help you build strong bones and muscles.

Focus on your Medications and Supplements

If you are taking certain prescription medicines like blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering medications and oestrogen boosting supplements, these pills may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium.

So, make sure to consult with your physician to check if there are any alternatives, that don’t block your cells from absorbing calcium.

Calcium – The Building Block for Strong Bones and Teeth

If your diet lacks enough calcium, your body ends up depleting the calcium reserves in your bones, making them weak, brittle and prone to breakage. Teenagers require 1300 mg of calcium per day; adults need 1000 mg of calcium per day and older adults above 50 years require 1200 mg of calcium per day.

Make sure to consume a calcium-rich diet with plenty of milk and dairy, avoid foods that inhibit calcium absorption and get enough of vitamin D – to keep your calcium levels high and boost strong bone health.