The Best and Worst Sources of Calcium
June 1, 2017
We grow up hearing, “Drink your milk! You need more calcium.” Yes, we need more calcium, but is milk the best source? Don’t fret, we have a laundry list of calcium-rich food sources to incorporate in your diet and what to look for in quality supplements.
As you know, at Nutritional Weight & Wellness we always believe food should be the first source of nutrients in our diet. Lucky for us, there’s more than just milk to provide you with calcium. While dairy has historically been promoted to be the best source of calcium, you can get adequate calcium from vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens. There are 101 mg of calcium in one cup of kale and 62 mg in a cup of cooked broccoli.
But what about all those commercials we see for “freshly-squeezed” orange juice (loaded with excess sugar, but that’s another story) that is fortified with calcium? Is that a good source? Not so much, and here’s why. The calcium found in orange juice is calcium carbonate, which is the cheapest form of calcium, and in this case cheapest also equals not absorbable. You read that right--even though you’re drinking calcium in your juice, your body isn’t able to absorb that form. Unfortunately, many supplements contain this same form of calcium.
So enough doom and gloom, if we need to supplement with calcium what form is absorbable for our bodies?
Activated Calcium is our solution. It’s a unique product that’s formulated to be easily absorbed, effective and protective. This is getting a bit technical, but since the body can only absorb 500 milligrams of one source of calcium at one time, we created this supplement with four different forms of calcium, so that you can absorb 500 milligrams of calcium from each form. We only source our raw materials from Albion Labs, a premier source for all chelated minerals, which are the best absorbed form of minerals. All the mineral supplements sold by NutriKey, a sister company of Nutritional Weight & Wellness, are sourced from Albion Labs, something we are very proud of.
Calcium Deficiency – Who Needs a Calcium Supplement?
That leads us to who should take calcium? In short, anybody concerned about bone health and also, surprising to many people, anyone suffering from poor sleep. Calcium is useful for sleep since it helps the brain use tryptophan, which helps manufacture melatonin and is our sleep-wake cycle hormone.
As is commonly known, calcium is one of the main minerals that makes up bone composition. If you’ve recently had a bone scan and results have shown osteopenia or osteoporosis, or if the disease runs in your family, it’s a good idea to supplement with a calcium supplement as it helps prevent osteomalacia (softening of bone) and osteoporosis. Likewise, if you’re pregnant or looking to become pregnant, calcium helps support proper bone development both in utero and throughout childhood. It may also help prevent pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia.
Beyond those benefits, research also shows that calcium helps prevent muscle cramps and spasms in addition to helping protect against colon cancer according to the The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.