How to enhance your calcium levels
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.