Women's Wellness 5 MIN READ 30 VIEWS November 25, 2021

Why Calcium for Women is a Must-Have Nutrient?

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Calcium for Women
How Much Calcium Does a Woman Need
Calcium Benefits for Women
When Calcium Requirements for Women are not Met
Ensuring Adequate Calcium Intake for Women
Other Ways to Maintain Good Bone Density
Conclusion

Calcium is one nutrient that is most abundant in the human body and yet close to 85% of women are calcium deficient. Have you ever wondered why the calcium intake of women is so compromised? If calcium for women is so important as we usually keep hearing, then how come so many women fail to fall short? 

With calcium being a part of our bones and teeth, 99% of this mineral is found in our bones and 1% in muscles, blood and other tissues. This is why it becomes vital to monitor and manage our calcium intake to ensure healthy growth, adequate maintenance, and problem-free aging. 

However, women’s bodies go through a lot of turmoil all through their life due to phenomena like menstruation, childbirth, and menopause. As a result, hormonal imbalances are common which leads to an imbalanced absorption of dietary nutrition, including calcium. This is one major cause of calcium deficiency being more common in women. 

How Much Calcium Does a Woman Need?

When we talk of calcium intake for women and its deficiency being very common in them, it is only natural to ask how much calcium do women need? If we know this, it will get easier to manage and maintain a healthy calcium intake.

It is very important to understand that calcium for women is needed at every stage of life. 

According to NIN, the daily dietary requirement of calcium for women (in mg/day) across different age groups is given below in a tabular format to help you understand better: 

StageCalcium requirements for women  (mg/day)
Adult Woman 18-50 years600 – 800
Pregnant Woman1200
Breastfeeding mother1200
Infant girls500
Young girl child 1-9 years of age700-1000
Girls 10-17 years 800-1300
Women above 50 years of age800-1000

Calcium Benefits for Women

When it comes to women’s health, calcium is an indispensable mineral. Calcium for women helps regulate hormones, manage mental health, build bone and muscle strength, and more. Read on to understand the various calcium benefits for women you must be aware of: 

1. Helps Prevent Osteoporosis

Did you know that women reach the peak of their bone density when they are in their adolescent years? Post that, they start losing their bone mass as their age progresses. Therefore, it is very important to maintain an adequate calcium intake during the teens to ensure they live their lives with adequate bone mass as they grow. If bone mass starts to diminish, bones get prone to fractures and osteoporosis. Hence, maintaining a calcium-rich diet in the 20s and 30s is imperative.   

2. Helps Control PMS

Among the many calcium benefits for women, this is amongst the best. Most women suffer significantly due to Premenstrual Syndrome. Little do they know that it is actually calcium deficiency that is causing the problem. Women whose calcium levels are low experience PMS symptoms more often. Maintaining calcium intake for women can do the trick, especially in younger women and is reportedly observed that calcium supplements can help ease PMS symptoms.  

3. Aids in Weight Management

Many are surprised to know that calcium helps one lose weight and manage it well. However, studies have shown that dietary calcium impairs the absorption of fat and increases energy expenditure. At the same time, adequate levels of calcium for women produce hormones that may lead to the breakdown of more fat. So, if you are looking to shed some kilos, remember to keep your calcium intake high. 

4. Maintains a Healthy Skin 

You must have heard growing up that patchy skin on your cheeks and white patchy nails are an indication of poor calcium intake. But did you know that not only does regulating calcium intake bring back even skin tone, it also lends a healthy glow to your skin? Calcium also helps slow down the signs of aging, including fine lines and dull skin, as it helps the skin repair itself faster.

When Calcium Requirements for Women are not Met

In case of insufficient calcium intake, there is always an increased risk of osteoporosis. Calcium deficiency leads to low bone mineral density, which in turn, may cause the problem of osteopenia and osteoporosis. In addition, calcium for women, when deficient, also affects nerve function, muscle health, and blood clotting in the body. 

It is very important to take a balanced diet with an adequate intake of vitamin D also (it aids calcium absorption in the body) to ensure you remain disease-free. Women tend to lose bone mass in their later years as part of the natural process of aging and hence, must maintain calcium levels in a focused proactive manner in their 20s and 30s.  

Ensuring Adequate Calcium Intake for Women

Now that we have answered the question, “how much calcium do women need in a day?”, it is only natural to be curious about the food sources that are rich in calcium. Here are some of the best food sources which can be incorporated into the daily diet to ensure that the calcium requirements for women are met:

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Paneer
  • Raw milk
  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Ladies finger
  • Millets
  • Dry fruits

In addition to these food sources, one can also opt for fortified cereals, fortified fruit juices as well as calcium-rich dietary supplements. This helps fill the nutritional gap without focusing too much on the intake. 

Other Ways to Maintain Good Bone Density

Apart from maintaining the calcium intake for women, here are some effective ways to maintain and manage your bone density and health:

  • Take regular tests for bone mineral density (BMD) so that you are always aware of any dips in the same and can take corrective actions timely.
  • Indulge in daily exercises, even if they are light. A good-paced walk for 30 minutes also works. Playing a sport, dancing, or jogging are great solutions besides undertaking weight-bearing exercises to maintain bone health. 
  • Make sure your diet contains at least two to three calcium-rich foods throughout the day. If you feel your diet lacks adequate calcium, opt for supplements from a reliable brand or take fortified foods.  
  • Stock up on your daily dose of sunshine to get your vitamin D, for it helps calcium absorption in the body. You can also get vitamin D from supplements, fortified foods, eggs, and fish like salmon. 
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices – avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and smoking to maintain bone health. 

Conclusion

It is important to understand that while many of us already have an answer to “how much calcium does a woman need?” and why calcium is important for women, we do not pay attention to consuming it adequately in our daily lives. Maybe it is time to pause and refocus on your health. A corrective action with respect to calcium for women is required to ensure that health comes first over, and above anything else. 

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