It is estimated that 3 out of 4 women do not get the calcium that they need. While we can get the majority of the calcium that we need every day in our diet, many of us can’t find the time to whip up collard greens and baked beans 3 times a week for maximum minerals, and so many people turn instead to supplements. Throughout a woman’s life, her daily calcium requirements will change and fluctuate, so it’s important to know what your calcium daily requirement is, but it’s much more important to make sure that you meet it every day.
Before you wonder how much you need, think about why you need it. Calcium isn’t just all about the bones. It’s true you need a ton of it to keep your bones strong and healthy, but this magic mineral also is critical in maintaining nerve and muscle health too. If maintaining the condition of your bones, nerves and muscles is important to you, you need to make sure you’re meeting your calcium daily requirement. As a matter of fact, your body will let you know if you are lacking in the form of symptoms of calcium deficiency such as muscle cramps and an escalation of PMS symptoms.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends calcium daily requirement of 1000 to 1200 milligrams for women aged 25-50 who are premenopausal. Realistically, it is very difficult to supply your body with this amount of calcium from foods. On one hand, most produce we consume on a daily basis represents a small percentage of the daily value, such as the healthy bok choi (one cup equals to 74 mg of calcium or 7 % of daily value), or even canned salmon (3 ounces = 181 mg of calcium or 18% of daily value), so we would have to consume an industrial quantity of each to get the recommended daily amount. On the other hand, only about 30 % of calcium gets absorbed by our body from foods, with the amount being affected by factors like caffeine and alcohol intake, and even eating fruits, whose metabolic acids produce bicarbonate and make the base balance of the body more alkaline, which decreases calcium excretion.
Plus, while dairy products are considered to be the best natural source of calcium, women should limit its intake not only because many are knowingly or unknowingly lactose intolerant, but also because dairy products, unless fermented, assist in the development of other food allergies and related medical conditions. Alternatively, women should take at least one calcium 600 d supplement pill or two 300 mg calcium pills per day. This number goes up however if you are on the border of having osteoporosis. You may need to jack your intake up by another 300 to 600 milligrams per day, but always consult your doctor for exact calcium daily requirement for your needs.
Why the “d” in the calcium supplement? Because that vitamin d dose is what is going to help your body process all that yummy calcium you just gave it. Make sure your supplement contains all the essential nutrients it needs to process the goodies you are putting in. In addition to vitamin d, calcium should also be taken in a 1 to 1 ratio to magnesium as it is helps absorb the calcium in your body. Note that today most people are more deficient in magnesium than calcium, so you may need to adjust the ratio of calcium to magnesium according to your body’s signals. More specifically, cramps in lower legs or feet are usually an indication of the need for more magnesium or, perhaps less calcium.
For post menopausal women, the calcium daily requirement as per the Food and Nutrition Board is at 1500 mg per day, however confirm with your doctor the dosage of the calcium supplement. 1500 mg daily may be too much if you are on hormone replacement therapy, so you will want to discuss what you calcium daily requirement is in this scenario. He or she will advise you if you need to increase or decrease your dose. Note that the body is able to absorb only 500 mg of calcium at once, so your each dose of calcium must not exceed 500 mg.
While it’s important to make sure you are getting all the calcium your body needs, too much and you may have problems also. If you are concerned about getting too much or too little, consider altering your diet before turning to supplements. Consider eating the easy-to-make eggshell calcium, which is likely the best and easiest to absorb natural source of calcium. One half teaspoon of eggshells in a powder form supplies you with 400 mg of calcium!