Everyone needs calcium to maintain healthy bones, muscle function, and nerve function. More often than not people are not getting the full amount of calcium that they need from their diet. Taking supplements of calcium seems like a good way to get the calcium into your system that you might be missing out on, but there are better ways to get the calcium you need, like eating foods with calcium.
The biggest issue with taking calcium supplements is the fact that you are taking a big dose of this mineral all at once. When you take smaller amounts of calcium throughout the day your body is able to process it more easily. You are getting more benefit out of the calcium. With a supplement you end up passing most of the calcium through your system. You are actually wasting more of the supplement than absorbing it.
On top of the issue with passing the mineral calcium cannot be absorbed without the help of vitamin C and vitamin D. These two vitamins help your body take in the mineral and put it to use. If you are taking calcium supplements without the added benefit of these other two vitamins you are wasting the pill.
Calcium is necessary for all ages, but the amount that is needed is different for every age. Teens need to get the highest amount because they are growing the most. Their bodies are using calcium to build their bodies bigger. If they don’t get enough calcium during this stage it can set them up for problems in the future. Since your body needs calcium for functioning it will steal it from your bones if you are not getting enough. Over time this leaching of calcium can cause serious medical conditions, like osteoporosis.
The good news is that you can get much of the calcium you need from food. Most people are aware that dairy products are full of calcium, but not everyone can have dairy. Many people are allergic to dairy or are lactose intolerant. In some cases there are additives that can be taken to help deal with these issues, if people still want to eat dairy, this is an option. If dairy is out of the question soy can be used to replace dairy in many instances. Cheese, milk, ice cream, and other dairy products can all be found make out of soy. Soy is just one food that is high in calcium. Other foods that are high in calcium are dark green vegetables. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, chard, and collard greens all have high amounts of calcium. Fish, especially canned fish have high amounts of calcium and are healthy for more than just the calcium that you can get from them.
Eating foods with calcium is a healthier way to get the calcium your body needs than from supplements. With supplements you are wasting most of the benefits you would receive from the foods. By adding more calcium rich foods into your meals you will be insuring healthy and strong bones far into the future.