Calcium for women's health
After reaching menopause, women are at increased risk for a number of diseases, including coronary heart disease and osteoporosis. if they consume diets high in fat, they may further increase their risk of coronary disease. If they do not obtain enough calcium from their diets, they may increase their risk of osteoporosis. Current dietary guidelines advise women to consume less than 30% of calories as fat and less than 10% as saturated fat, and to consume at least 800 mg/day of calcium.
In general, women who met one of the dietary recommendations (for fat or calcium) were less likely to meet the other. High-fat diets were consistently associated with high calcium intake. High-calcium consumers had higher fat, especially saturated fat intake, than low-calcium consumers, probably because of their more frequent consumption of cheese, 2% milk, and baked goods.
The mineral calcium not only builds and strengthens bones and teeth, it is also important in maintaining normal heart beat and regulating blood pressure. Calcium is also essential for the healthy functioning of the nerve system. In addition, some studies suggested that calcium supplements may help relieve premenstrual syndrome PMS. Furthermore, a few studies also suggested that calcium supplements may be able to reduce colon polyps.
Calcium - How much?
Average adult men and women (including pregnant women) need at least 1000mg of calcium daily, while post-menopausal women need up to 1500mg a day.Common Calcium-Rich Foods.
Milk (1 cup): 300 mg
Yogurt (175 mL): 300 mg
Frozen Yogurt (1/2 cup): 100 mg
Ice Cream (1/2 cup): 85 mg
Soy: Calcium-fortified soy drink (1 cup): 300 mg
Tofu (1/2 cup): 250 mg
Canned salmon with bones (3 oz): 200 mg
Canned sardines with bones (3 oz): 250 mg
You may also find calcium-fortified products such as orange juice, cereal bar or fitness water.
If you have lactose intolerance, there are still choices in the market. You can enjoy the pre-treated milk with 99% less lactose, or consume lactase enzyme tablets or drops. Some dairy products are naturally low in lactose such as firm cheese, yogurt and buttermilk.
Calcium is also found in dark green vegetables and dried beans. If you decide to supplement with calcium pills, look for the amount of "elemental" or available calcium in the supplements. If in doubt, ask your dietitian or pharmacist to assist you in choosing the right calcium supplement.