What is food mineral?

Minerals are inorganic elements that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Vital Role of Calcium in Bone Health and Overall Wellness

Calcium is a major mineral essential for healthy bones and teeth, playing a critical role in overall health. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and potassium are vital to human health and must be obtained from food. These major minerals are required in significant quantities as they are integral to numerous bodily functions.

Minerals perform three primary functions in the body. First, they form the structural components of the skeleton, providing strength and support. Second, they exist as soluble salts, helping to regulate the composition of body fluids, maintaining acid-base balance, and ensuring proper nerve function. Third, minerals act as essential cofactors in enzymatic reactions and protein functions, facilitating metabolic processes and cellular activities.

Calcium can be sourced from various plant and animal foods. Excellent plant sources include tofu (especially when prepared with calcium sulfate, containing over four times the calcium of whole cow's milk), green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. These sources are particularly beneficial for those following plant-based diets. Dairy products are the predominant source of calcium in the typical American diet, with nonfat milk being particularly nutrient-dense due to its high calcium content and low fat and calorie levels. Additionally, hard water can contribute up to 200 mg of calcium daily, though soft water lacks this benefit. Other calcium-rich foods include blackstrap molasses, edible seaweeds, watercress, parsley, and dried figs. Non-dairy yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium, catering to those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

The body absorbs 25 to 75 percent of dietary calcium, with efficiency influenced by age, vitamin D levels, physiological need, and overall calcium intake. Absorption rates are higher during periods of growth, such as pregnancy and infancy, and lower in older adults. Adequate calcium intake is crucial for preventing deficiencies that can lead to poor bone and teeth formation. Severe calcium deficiency may cause rickets in children, characterized by weak and soft bones, and osteomalacia in adults, leading to bone pain and muscle weakness.

In conclusion, calcium is indispensable for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and overall health. A balanced diet that includes a variety of calcium-rich foods is essential for ensuring adequate intake and preventing deficiency-related health issues.
The Vital Role of Calcium in Bone Health and Overall Wellness

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