The Importance of a Calcium-Rich Diet for 55+ Seniors

Health problems that occur due to calcium deficiencies are numerous. This is especially true for the elderly as sometimes, they do not receive adequate nutrients through their diets. A deficiency of calcium can be a major problem as you age. Did you know that bone mass loss starts after you pass the age of 30? Did you also know that this factor causes your bones to become brittle and, as a result, can cause easy breakages? This is of special concern to the ladies as they are more susceptible to an illness called Osteoporosis that usually occurs after the age of 50 thins and weakens your bones. This is a sneaky disease and you may not know about this till you fall and fracture your hip or ankle or wrist. One of the best ways of preventing osteoporosis is by eating calcium-rich foods.

Benefits of a Diet High in Calcium

Other than keeping your bones strong and healthy, calcium also provides other benefits.

  • Calcium Aids in Weight Loss – Did you know calcium helps keep the weight off? According to research, calcium promotes fat burn and prevents fat store. Researchers suggest that you consider three servings of non-fat dairy every day while also reducing your calories through alternative means.
  • Calcium Prevents PMS Symptoms – This is for the ladies. Adequate ingestion of dietary calcium and vitamin D help prevent PMS symptoms. Inadequate ingestion of calcium and vitamin D reacts negatively with progesterone and estrogen thereby, triggering PMS symptoms.
  • Calcium may Combat Cancer –We all know the importance of an antioxidant-rich diet and how it prevents the onset of cancer. However, recent research also suggests calcium may also help combat ovarian, breast and colorectal cancers. Calcium for cancer prevention should only be considered through dietary sources. Too much calcium, especially through supplementation, can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Calcium keeps the Heart Healthy – Healthy doses of calcium may help prevent heart disease and hypertension. Although 99% of calcium, in the body, is found in the bones, the other 1% helps with various bodily functions including nerve transmission and muscular function. As the heart is a muscle and as the heart and blood vessels are connected to the nervous system, inadequate calcium can increase your risk of heart disease.

Calcium-Rich Foods

Many foods are high in calcium although nothing beats dairy products. However, if you are not a milk drinker, there are other foods that help you get the required amount of calcium into your body. For example, sardines are quite high in calcium. You can get 340mg of calcium from 3.2 ounces of sardines. Other foods to target include:

  • Tofu
  • Collard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Okra
  • Dates
  • Dried Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Mulberries

Keep in mind to consider the right amount of calcium required as your daily intake. Health official recommends 1000mg of calcium daily if you are below 50. If you are over 50, you should increase your calcium intake to 1,200mg. Menopausal women should increase their calcium intake to 1,200 mg after menopause.

Calcium is an essential nutrient that your body needs. Therefore, always ensure the right amount of calcium is present in your diet.

This article is courtesy of ActiveAdultLiving.com®, a National Directory of more than 8,500 active adult communities in the US and Canada

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