Your body requires an array of vitamins and minerals each day in order to function and thrive. While getting the most nutrients from a balanced diet is ideal, oftentimes there are natural gaps in your eating habits that leave you wanting in certain areas.
You know, mind your gaps. It’s in this context (which applies to hundreds of millions of Americans, mind you) that a well-rounded (i.e., complete) multivitamin can be particularly useful for supporting a nourishing diet and taking your health to the next level. In case you are having frequent headaches, you can try Magnesium supplement for headaches.
Not all multis are created equal, however, and it’s important to assess the offerings of your supplements before adding them into your routine. One mineral that should undoubtedly be making it into your multivitamin? Calcium.
Why your multi should include calcium:
1. Supporting strong bones & teeth
When you were a kid, your parents likely made you drink your milk with meals to help you grow strong bones. This is due to the calcium content dairy milk offers (an impressive 306 to 325 milligrams of per cup in whole-fat and nonfat milk, respectively). However, whether it be from lactose intolerance or simply following a plant-based diet, many people have phased milk out of their routines, turning instead to nut milk. Especially if you aren’t consuming dairy anymore, calcium should still be a key factor in any diet, even when you aren’t growing.
“The main role of calcium is in bone health”, and not getting enough calcium can greatly affect overall bone health and musculoskeletal integrity. As a note, 38% of U.S. adults are not getting enough calcium from food alone, so it may be worth taking a look at your own diet. That statistic amounts to about 98 million Americans, by the way.
2. Promoting muscle contraction for blood flow
Opting for a multivitamin that contains calcium can promote healthy circulation because “[calcium is] also involved in muscle contraction (including the heart!) and blood flow,”* explains Hultin.
In fact, a 2021 Science Advances preclinical study in mice found that calcium is actually vital for blood flow within the capillaries. “Capillaries were traditionally thought of as simple conduits for red blood cells, and the barrier between the blood and brain,”. “Here, we revealed an unknown universe of calcium signaling in capillaries, and much like traffic lights, these calcium signals direct vital nutrients to nearby active neurons.”
TL;DR: Your body needs calcium to direct the blood flow within your brain (and throughout the rest of your body).*
3. Bolstering nerve function
If you’ve had nerve-related health concerns in your legs (or really anywhere in your body), a lack of calcium in your diet may be the culprit. “[Calcium] controls the nerve signals that allow a muscle to contract. When there’s little calcium, there are no controlled nerve signals, and you get a sudden contraction,”. “Calcium-rich foods include dairy, dark leafy greens, and even canned fish (with bones and in oil).”
Even if you do feel like you’re getting plenty of calcium in your diet, opting for a quality multivitamin supplement that includes this mineral certainly won’t hurt.
“That’s kind of the problem in our nation. We go off of presuppositions regarding our nutritional sufficiency. We should feel less and count more. Almost 40% of U.S. adults fail to consume basic calcium needs daily. That’s a big gap, about 100 million Americans.”
How much calcium do you really need?
It’s never too late to start paying attention to calcium, earlier is definitely better. “Calcium needs increase steadily in childhood and max out in adolescence because your peak bone mass, aka your bone mineralization needs and actions in the body, are highest at that time.”
“Building your ‘bone bank’ early in life with essential, required nutrients like the macromineral calcium is a literal investment in your musculoskeletal future and overall longevity.”
Once you’ve arrived at adulthood, the daily calcium needs stay relatively constant for the majority of your life, but they’re still high. “The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults 19 to 50 years old is 1,000 milligrams a day, and then women (starting at age 51) and all people 71 years and over need 1,200 milligrams a day,”.
This pragmatic intel to put this level in context: “One serving of dairy, one of the best sources of this mineral, delivers about 300 milligrams of calcium. So depending on your age, you need the calcium equivalent of three to four servings of dairy a day.”. “This level of intake honestly takes real thought, daily intention, and in my opinion, a smart multi with bioavailable calcium.”
That being said, there is a limit to how much calcium your body needs each day. “The upper limit for calcium in adults 19 to 50 years of age is 2,500 milligrams a day and for those 51 years and older, it’s 2,000 milligrams,”. That, of course, might vary in a clinical setting for individualized nutrition regimens under the supervision of a health care professional.
9 Vitamins and Minerals You Should Take Daily | Vitamin A · Vitamin B · Vitamin C · Vitamin D · Vitamin E · Vitamin K · Calcium · Iron.
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