From the moment we are born, calcium is an essential ingredient for the health of our bones. This is especially true for women over 50, who can become susceptible to calcium deficiency.
To keep our bones robust and healthy, woman can derive most of the calcium they need from food. However, taking a regular calcium supplement is also a clever way to give your levels a boost.
What is calcium and what does it do?
As the most abundant mineral in our bodies, calcium performs many vital functions beyond bone structure and health. From nervous system signalling to supporting our metabolism and the healthy function of our heart and muscles, calcium plays a major role in our overall health and wellbeing.
Why is calcium important for women over 50?
As woman age and go through menopause, declining estrogen levels often lead to a loss of calcium in the bones. Women’s bones are also lighter in structure than men’s, leaving them more susceptible to bone fragility and declining bone mass, which is often characterised by osteoporosis. Genetic factors and lifestyle also play a role in decreasing calcium levels.
Our bodies also need Vitamin D to absorb calcium, which is found in many similar foods and egg yolks. However, short, regular periods of exposure to the sun's UV-B rays remain the most effective way to increase your vitamin D intake.
Eating a calcium-rich diet
Our bodies don’t naturally produce calcium, so we need to ensure our diet supports adequate intake. While dairy products are widely believed to pack the most calcium punch, other natural sources of calcium are readily available from the supermarket, including:
- Dairy products – like milk, cheese and yoghurt
- Dark, leafy greens – like kale, collard greens and broccoli
- Soft-boned fish – like canned salmon and sardines
- Some nuts and seeds – like almonds, sesame seeds and chia
However, many common foods are also fortified with calcium during production. These include:
- Soy products
- Milk alternatives
- Fruit juice
- Some flour products
A calcium and vitamin D supplement is a simple and effective way to boost your levels, and support your bones and muscles to remain strong and healthy for the long-term.