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7 Essential Facts About Calcium

7 Essential Facts About Calcium

Most of us associate calcium with healthy bones, and rightly so. But did you know that calcium is also vital for maintaining the health of your nervous system? It also helps blood clot and muscles contract. Without calcium, in fact, we cannot survive.

Getting sufficient calcium, however, isn’t as simple as popping a calcium tablet. I’ve put together some useful tips to help you get enough, and, equally important–absorb calcium properly.

  • Low-fat dairy delivers more calcium than full fat. For example, 8 ounces of whole milk yogurt has only 274 mg calcium, compared to low fat yogurt, which has about 400 mg.
  • Calcium is best absorbed at night because that’s when your parathyroid glands and the liver are most active. Incidentally, calcium is known to help you sleep better.
  • Though you might require 1000 mg or more of calcium every day, it is best abosrbed when taken in doses of 500 mg at a time. The body can’t handle too much calcium at one go.
  • Should you take your multivitamin and iron supplements at the same time as your calcium tablet? No! For better absorption, take calcium separately from these.
  • Dairy isn’t your only option. If you choose to avoid it or cannot tolerate it, get your calcium from green leafy vegetables and dry roasted almonds.
  • You should always take calcium with a full glass of water and have it either with your meal or just after. This helps your system absorb it better.
  • Calcium needs a partner for better absorption—that’s Vitamin D, which helps form the hormone calcitriol. Your intake of Vitamin D comes from three sources—sunshine, diet and supplements. Make sure you know how much you need and which of these sources works best for you.

25 Vegan Sources of Calcium
Plant-Based Sources of Calcium for Vegans (Infographic)

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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1:18PM PST on Feb 11, 2014


3:39AM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

Problem as I see it (and I'm deficient in both), Vitamin D is day, calcium is night (actually vitamin D can keep you up). But don't forget Boron and Vitamin K.

2:40AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013


9:18AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

3:46AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Something we all should know

12:22AM PDT on May 9, 2013

My chiropractor told me to take calcium, so I was taking it with my other vitamins in the morning! I had a hard time staying awake!
I read somewhere to take it at night, and it actually does help you sleep better!

10:38PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Thanks for the hints...

12:23AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Useful info. Thanks

9:04AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

Thank you

9:01AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

Thanks. I never take medicines of any kind without food.

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