Calcium supplements – anything to worry about?

How to tell whether you should be concerned about your Calcium levels, and what to do if the answer is “yes”.

What’s your dietary Calcium intake like?

  • Do you drink a glass of milk (dairy or Calcium-fortified soy), or have a milkshake or protein shake every day?
  • Do you eat a serving of cheese or yoghurt at least once per day?
  • Do you eat a serving of green vegetables along with meat, fish, or chicken at least once per day?
  • If you answered yes to all of these, you can probably relax about your Calcium levels.
  • If you diet or skip meals, are too busy to eat, or don’t eat these important Calcium-rich foods, you may be low in Calcium. If so, think about what that might mean for you.

Calcium: more than just a bone supplement

Many people think of Calcium as just being about bone health. Of course, Calcium is essential for healthy bones – a good Calcium intake means long term benefits for bone strength. Osteoporosis is a painful bone disease where bones become weak and brittle due to lack of exercise and Calcium. You can avoid it by making sure you have a good Calcium intake throughout your life, but especially between the ages of 13-21.

But Calcium also plays a range of other vital roles that affect how you feel and look. For example:

  • Hate going to the dentist? Nails keep splitting? Healthy teeth and nails both depend on good Calcium levels.
  • Moody, irritable, crampy or getting PMT? Calcium can help to keep you calm, soothe muscle cramps and aches, and settle a jumpy nervous system.
  • Wanting to lose weight? Calcium research also now shows that enough Calcium can help women lose weight more efficiently and effectively. Our bodies use Calcium to regulate important hormone levels that in turn affect our weight.

How to get more Calcium into your day

Don’t sweat if you’ve forgotten all about your Calcium intake up until now. But if you want to make a difference from now on:

  • Spruce up your diet: add more of the Calcium-rich foods from the first paragraph
  • Focus on your exercise habits: try to be physically active for 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Add a Calcium supplement: just one a day with a meal or a glass of orange juice can get your Calcium levels where they need to be