Calcium in the body is found mostly in the skeleton and teeth. Dietary calcium makes the skeleton dense and strong. The small amount of calcium in the blood and soft tissues regulates heartbeat and muscle construction. Sources of calcium include milk and milk products, small fishes, sardines, “tokwa” or “tofu”, small shrimps and green vegetables like “malunggay” leaves, “saluyot” “mustasa”, among others.
The FNRI’s 7th National Nutrition Survey, however, revealed that Filipinos do not meet the recommended amount of calcium in the diet. When calcium is lacking, we may not attain the maximum bone mass needed which may cause problems later in life. Among women, adequate calcium in the diet ensures maintenance of peak bone mass and prevents osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and older persons of both sexes. Both pregnant and lactating women also need adequate calcium. Adequate calcium in pregnancy is essential to provide minerals for the bones of the developing fetus. Lactating women need calcium to supply this nutrient in breastmilk.
Now that you know the importance of calcium in the different stages of our life, isn’t it time that you include milk and other calcium-rich food in the diet?#