You’ve probably heard this a lot when you were a kid, “drink your milk and you’ll be strong!” Why, because milk contains calcium, and having sufficient Calcium and Vitamin D is the key to healthy bones: A fact that is supported by evidence from several clinical trials.
What happens when you don’t have calcium-rich foods?
When your calcium intake is low, your body compensates by taking its calcium requirements from your bones. This depletes your body’s calcium stores and puts you at risk of osteoporosis later in life. Thus an adequate calcium intake is essential to support vital bodily functions and maintain strong and healthy bones.
What does calcium do in your body?
- It builds and maintains strong bones and teeth
- Ensures proper functioning of muscles and nerves
- Maintains a healthy circulation
New research shows calcium’s role in helping the body to burn fat, and thus helps support weight loss in calorie-controlled diets
But is it enough?
Consuming enough calcium in your diet is the first step to attaining and maintaining healthy bones.
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in our bones is essential to healthy bone development and maintenance, and adds to its strength and rigidity.
But did you know that there are several other nutrients that help you use calcium more effectively by helping deposit it into your bones to make them stronger and healthier?
The following table details the effect of each of these nutrients on your bones, and how you can get enough of it.
|Nutrient||RDI*||How it helps strengthen bones||Sources|
|Vitamin D||200 IU
|The body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Not enough Vitamin D leads to insufficient calcium absorption from your diet. In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in your bones. This weakens them and increases the chances of fractures from minor incidents.||Sunlight exposure, fortified milk, salmon, sardines, tuna, oil and egg yolk.|
|Vitamin C||75 mg||Enables certain enzymes in the body to function properly and form a strong bone matrix. In addition to its role in collagen formation, Vitamin C appears to stimulate the cells that build bone, enhance calcium absorption, and enhance the effect of Vitamin D.||Citrus fruits and juice, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage and strawberries.|
|Phosphorus||700mg||More than half of our mineral bone mass is from phosphorus – a building block of every cell in our body – and bone cells are no different. Phosphorus combines with calcium to form a mineral crystal that gives strength and structure to our bones.||Milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, eggs, peas and meat.|
|Magnesium||320 mg||60% of magnesium in our body is found in bones together with calcium and phosphorus.
Magnesium improves bone quality and enhances mineral density while assuring strength and firmness. Not getting enough magnesium interferes with the body’s ability to process calcium.
|Whole grains (wheat, oat, barley….), green leafy vegetables (spinach, parsley) potatoes, chocolate, nuts and seeds, broccoli and bananas.|
|Zinc||12 mg||Zinc is indispensable for the formation of a strong bone structural matrix upon which the bone-forming calcium–phosphorus compound is deposited. It’s also necessary for the production of enzymes that repair bone.||Red meat, chicken, fortified breakfast cereal, whole grains, nuts, and beans.|
(approximately 60-80 grams per day)
|Protein is an important structural component of bone. By weight, bone tissue is 70% mineral (primarily calcium and phosphorus), 22% protein, and 8% water. Appropriate amounts of protein are associated with increased bone mineral density.||Low fat milk and milk products, meat, chicken, fish, nuts and legumes.|
*RDI is the amount of a particular vitamin, mineral, or nutrient that should be consumed each day to maintain good health.
With this wealth of information, you might be wondering how to get all these nutrients to maintain your strong bones. The secret is to have a varied and balanced diet that contains milk and dairy, as well as the other essential food groups, from grains, to vegetables, fruits, meat and legumes and healthy fats. This way, you can get your calcium and other important bone nutrients.
Good to know:
Nestlé KLIM® is a perfect fortified skimmed milk with a rich taste that helps you lock calcium and unlock freedom. It has more than 50% added calcium compared to unfortified milk. 2 glasses of KLIM every day for women provides with the essential amount of calcium needed to maintain healthier bones and help to stay active. It also comes with Calcilock™, a unique combination of nutrients that helps absorb and lock the calcium into the bones.