CALCIUM: Makes Strong Bones, and Helps Keep The Pounds Off Too!
What is calcium?
Calcium is a mineral that the body needs for many of its functions, such as building and maintaining bones and teeth, the transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting, and the regulation of the rhythm of your heart beat.
What does this have to do with weight loss?
Studies also that higher calcium intake alters the metabolism of fat cells, which causes less fat to be stored and more fat to be released. This increase in metabolism when consuming adequate amounts of calcium, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can help you shed the pounds and keep them off too! Most people consume barely half of what is needed of this crucial calcium mineral on a daily basis.
Where can we get calcium?
You can get calcium from foods such as dairy products, which have the highest amount per serving of absorbable calcium. Dark leafy greens or dried beans, which have carrying amounts of absorbable calcium, are also good choices.
Getting to the point…
New studies have indicated that consuming an adequate amount of calcium per day may do more than just strengthening your bones. Researchers have discovered in fact, that calcium helps break down body fat and may prevent fat cells from making fat. Researchers from the University of Tennessee have conducted several studies on calcium intake and weight. Results were consistently showing that people who consumed more calcium had a lower body weight or gained less weight than the people who took in lower amount of calcium.
Below is a chart of foods that provide at least 100mg of calcium. As displayed, there are a wide variety of foods containing adequate amounts of calcium.
- Yogurt, plain, low fat – 8oz – 415mg
- Collards, frozen, boiled – 1cup – 357mg
- Skim milk – 1 cup – 306mg
- Spinach, frozen, boiled – 1 cup – 291mg
- Yogurt, plain, whole milk – 8 oz – 275mg
- Cheese food, pasteurized American – 1 oz – 162mg
- Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat – 1 cup – 138mg
- Baked beans, canned – 1 cup – 154mg
- Iceberg lettuce – 1 head – 97mg
- Canned salmon – 3 oz – 181mg
- Oranges – 1 cup – 72mg
- Trail mix (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips) – 1 cup – 159
- Almonds – 1 oz (24 nuts) – 70
- Black-eyed peas, boiled – 1 cup – 211
- Green peas, boiled – 1 cup – 94
Protein and Calcium – Finding a Balance
A high protein diet, especially of one that mainly consists of meat, can cause calcium loss in the human body. The higher sulfur to calcium ratio of meat results in an increase of calcium excretion, or depletion. A diet containing large amounts of meat can cause bone demineralization. The diets many Americans are coming up with or trying can cause bone depletion of essential nutrients and increase your chances of developing osteoporosis. Many popular diets may promise quick weight loss, but calcium and other important nutrients are often missing from the content. Restrained eater, those of who put them selves on a very strict diet are unaware that some of the things they are cutting out, such as yogurt, milk, and cheese, could actually help them in reaching their goal. An increase in your calcium intake or taking a dietary calcium supplement is recommended while on a high protein diet do to the result of meat and calcium excretion. For the best health benefits, one should try to consume at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day.
The chart below demonstrates the necessary amount of calcium needed for males and females of all ages.
- Infants & children, depending on age – 350-550mg/day
- Teenage girls – 800mg/day
- Teenage boys – 1000mg/day
- Adult men & women – 700mg/day
- Breast-feeding women extra – 550mg/day
Researchers say you don’t want to do away with dairy when dieting. It’s been found that adding yogurt to a low-calorie diet helps people loose belly fat. Calcium (especially dairy calcium) slows down the body’s fat making process. It is recommended that dieters should eat three servings of fat-free dairy products every day. Not only is it critical to keep your calcium levels up so you won’t loose bone density, but it will also help you maintain your muscle mass and increase your fat loss.
Keep in mind while dieting and exercising not to cut out foods containing calcium. It’s been proven that calcium can assist in weightless, help you burn fat, and prevent fat cells from producing more fat. Diet and exercise isn’t all about the scale, it’s about health and wellness too!