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Dear women, you need to eat more calcium before you turn 30. Here’s why

Published on:7 February 2021, 11:00am IST
Women are at a higher risk of suffering from bone-related illnesses like osteoporosis. That can only be mitigated by building calcium reserves in the body.
Grace Bains
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calcium in women
You need to make your bones healthy! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We’re all aware of just how important it is to keep our bones healthy. You see, bones are basically the frame of our body. An issue with even one part of this frame can have a huge impact on our body, causing pain, mobility issues and posture problems. Hence, we need to take extra care of our bones and for this, it is important to keep a check on your calcium levels.

So, how exactly does calcium keep your bones strong?

See, our bones are the main storage space of calcium in the body. The mineral is necessary to maintain bone mass, which is the key to a strong skeleton that can support the body. What many people don’t realize is that throughout our lifetime, old bones are broken down and replaced by new ones. This function of breaking-down-and-building primarily rests on calcium.

Calcium levels determine the health of our bones. Hence, you need to maintain a good bone mass in order to keep your bones healthy.

What exactly is bone mass and why do we need to focus on maintaining it?

The bone mass essentially refers to the level of different minerals in our bones, including calcium. The thing with your bone mass is that it needs to be developed in the early years of life.

Much like all processes in our body, this breaking-down-and-building process of bones becomes slower in the later years of our life. We reach peak bone density between the ages of 25 and 30. Beyond that, let’s just say, our bones reduce the absorption of calcium to a very large extent and start to depend heavily on what we built earlier, before we hit the third decade of our life.

This affects women more greatly than men

Women already have lesser bone tissue than men to begin with, but this reduction in absorption of calcium only gets more accelerated, as we approach menopause due to the dramatic change in estrogen levels. What’s more, those women who have hormonal issues such as thyroid might find themselves even more susceptible to bone issues.

These factors ultimately lead to low bone mass, which causes medical issues such as brittle bones that break easily and can lead to severe pain and mobility issues. 

Weak bones mean that women are also more likely to develop the problem of osteoporosis, which refers to the body’s inability to keep up with the rate of deterioration of old bones. It often doesn’t just lead to fractures over minor falls or stresses such as picking up heavy bags, but due to this condition, the healing of bones becomes next to impossible. Unfortunately, it leaves you with a lifelong injury.

Keep in mind that after 30, you can’t do much about bone issues, if you ignored it earlier. Hence, it is extremely important to take care of our bones before we hit 30. Women, in particular, need to up their calcium intake in order to

  • avoid the pain
  • reduced mobility
  • a lowered quality of life in the later years of life
calcium in women
Timely management of calcium deficiency is necessary. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Given that our body doesn’t make calcium on its own, we need to depend on our consumption of the mineral to meet our needs. There are two ways of consuming calcium:

i) Food

ii) Supplements

Out of these two, it is preferred that you consume calcium through foods since it is natural and has more long-term benefits. To up your level of calcium, you can consume:

i) Dairy products like milk, cheese, butter

ii) Green leafy vegetables like spinach’

iii) Seeds mix, especially with sesame, poppy and chia seeds

iv) Lentils

v) Fish, especially salmon

vi) Almonds

vii) Amaranth

So, up your intake of these foods to keep your bones healthy. At the same time, remember to get more vitamin D from the sun and also from your diet, because calcium can’t be digested as efficiently by your body without the help of the sunshine vitamin.

Ladies, keep your bones healthy to steer clear of illnesses in the later years of your life!

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.