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Calcium

98 – 99 percent of your calcium is stored in your bones and if you don’t get enough from your daily diet your body will leach it from your bones – long term this can lead to fragile bones and osteoporosis.

In addition to strengthening the bones, calcium is extremely important for the contraction of muscles, including the heart muscle. Low or high levels of calcium can quickly lead to disturbances in the cardiac rhythm.

After menopause, calcium is lost from the bones at a greater rate, and in addition to this, the body’s natural ability to absorb calcium decreases with age and can only be absorbed in small doses at a time. The recommended daily allowance for a woman aged 50 plus is1500mg per day and you should spread this out to 500mg at a time.

Calcium is technically a metal, found mostly in rocks. Soils containing these rocks absorb calcium from them, which is in turn absorbed by the plants grown in that soil. When animals or humans eat those plants, they ingest the calcium they contain. Most dark green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium, with the exception of spinach, which contains oxalic acid that blocks calcium absorption.

If you are falling short of the recommended daily allowance, you may want to consider taking a calcium supplement. Calcium carbonate tends to be more common because it is more readily available. However, calcium citrate is better absorbed by the body.