Sunday, December 14, 2008

Calcium Benefits

When you step on the scale in the morning, you can assume that about three pounds of your body weight is calcium, most of it packed into your bones and teeth.
Calcium is also present in extracellular fluid (the liquid around body cells), where it performs the following duties:
  • Regulating fluid balance by controlling the flow of water in and out of cells
  • Enabling cells to send messages back and forth from one to another
  • Keeping muscles moving smoothly and preventing cramping
An adequate amount of calcium is important for controlling high blood pressure — and not only for the person who takes the calcium directly. At least one study shows that when a pregnant woman gets a sufficient amount of calcium, her baby’s blood pressure stays lower than average for at least the first seven years of life, meaning a lower risk of developing high blood pressure later on. Your best food sources of calcium are milk and dairy products, plus fish such as canned sardines and salmon. Calcium also is found in dark green leafy vegetables, but the calcium in plant foods is bound into compounds that are less easily absorbed by your body.

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