How to en­hance your cal­cium lev­els

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle -

Bone thin­ning is a nat­u­ral part of age­ing. But mild bone loss that hap­pens af­ter the age of 35 does not qual­ify as os­teo­poro­sis. It can be pre­vented and con­trolled so that you don’t end up with brit­tle bones by the time you reach 50. Ear­lier it was thought that only grow­ing chil­dren need cal­cium.

New re­search sug­gests that the hu­man body needs cal­cium through­out life. This is be­cause the adult bones are not solid pil­lars (as thought ear­lier) but are chang­ing every day. The cal­cium in­take should be in­creased for at least a decade be­fore menopause. The de­gree of bone loss a decade be­fore menopause is sig­nif­i­cant and af­fects bone health in the later years. How­ever, less cal­cium is not the only rea­son lead­ing to os­teo­poro­sis. Other fac­tors such as smok­ing, seden­tary life­style, high in­take of alcohol, be­ing un­der­weight and re­moval of ovaries also play a role in bone thin­ning.

Cal­cium re­quire­ments dif­fer dur­ing dif­fer­ent stages in our life. The ear­lier you start, the eas­ier it is to build your cal­cium re­serves. That’s be­cause through­out child­hood, right up to the age of 25, our bones con­sis­tently ab­sorb and re­tain more cal­cium. This process reaches a plateau dur­ing early adult­hood between the age of 25-35, by which the bones reach max­i­mum den­sity and ab­sorb and dis­card an equal amount of cal­cium. The down slide be­gins af­ter the age of 35 when bones begin to weaken and dis­card more cal­cium than they ab­sorb. Here’s how you can en­hance your cal­cium lev­els:

For break­fast or those in-between snacks, try cheese slices on whole­grain bread or whole­wheat khakra. Wal­nuts, figs, dates and apri­cots are also healthy snack foods, rich in cal­cium. Milk is a good source of cal­cium.

Soya bean, which is rich in cal­cium and protein, can be con­sumed in the form of bis­cuits topped with grated cheese or along with a home-made yo­gurt and cheese, mint and co­rian­der chut­ney is also rich in cal­cium.

Red kid­ney beans (ra­jma), chick­peas (kab­uli chana), black grams and green veg­eta­bles such as broc­coli, spinach, are rich in cal­cium.

PHOTO: SATYABRATA TRIPATHY/HT; FOR REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIONAL PUR­POSES ONLY

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